Family Law/Mar 9, 2016

Same-Sex Adoption Upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court

On March 7, 2016, the United States Supreme Court unanimously reversed an Alabama Supreme Court ruling that refused to recognize a Georgia adoption and denied parental rights to a same-sex parent. VL v EL, 577 US ____ (2016). Previous to the Alabama Supreme Court ruling, a Georgia court entered an adoption order making V.L. the ... Read More
Family Law/Mar 4, 2015

Fit Parent Presumption Upheld In Grandparenting Time Case

“Fit parents” have a constitutionally guaranteed liberty interest in raising their children as they see fit. Grandparents, on the other hand, have no constitutionally protected interests regarding the upbringing of their grandchildren. Therefore, when a “fit parent” denies a grandparent the opportunity to visit his or her grandchild, there is little recourse available to the ... Read More
Family Law/Feb 16, 2015

Bill Proposes To Decriminalize Possession Of An Ounce or Less of Marihuana

Two bills were introduced recently in the State Senate that would amend both the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act and the Public Health Code. One bill proposes to further limit the rights of those protected under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, while the other increases the rights of every person in Michigan found in possession of ... Read More
Family Law/Jan 19, 2015

New Michigan Law Seeks To Prevent Child Abduction

The “Uniform Child Abduction Prevention Act” is one of several new acts signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder on January 12, 2015. As the name implies, the purpose of the act is to prevent the abduction of children, more specifically, of those children involved in child custody proceedings where there is a credible risk ... Read More
Family Law/Jan 14, 2015

4 Things Every Unmarried Couple Living Together Should Know: Your Assets May Not Be Protected

A recent unpublished Court of Appeals opinion serves as a cautionary tale for cohabitating couples: mere commitment to a long-term relationship will not provide asset protection when the relationship ends. Breininger v Huntley, unpublished opinion per curiam of the Court of Appeals, issued November 20, 2014 (Docket No. 317899). In Breininger, although the plaintiff and ... Read More
Family Law/Sep 9, 2014

Court Awards Ex-Wife Deceased Husband’s Pension Benefits

As if there are not enough reasons for a woman to dislike her husband’s ex-wife, the Michigan Court of Appeals recently gave Pauline Ruff one more good reason. In Ruff v Ruff, 2014 WL 3704903 (July 24, 2014), the court awarded the pension benefits of Pauline’s late husband to be paid to his ex-wife. In ... Read More
Family Law/Jun 10, 2014

Remarriage/Cohabitation May Impact Spousal Support

When couples are in the midst of divorce proceedings, the idea of a future marriage may be far from their minds. Yet, a recent opinion by the Michigan Court of Appeals, explains the effect remarriage or cohabitation could have on future payments of spousal support. Sweeny v Augustine-Sweeny, 2014 WL 1978190, (May 13, 2014). In ... Read More
Family Law/Feb 24, 2014

Who’s Your Daddy? The Answer Might Surprise You

According to the Michigan Court of Appeals, DNA may have nothing to do with answering the question: Who’s your daddy? In a split opinion, the Court’s majority upheld a lower court decision denying the legal designation of paternity to a child’s biological father in Helton v Beaman, _____ Mich App ____, (2014). Lisa Beaman conceived ... Read More
Family Law/Mar 27, 2013

A “Weighty” Issue: When a Child’s Weight Becomes a Factor in Custody

Adults aren’t the only Americans struggling with an ever-expanding waistline. For years, obesity has been on the rise in our children (see the most recent CDC statistics) and is a focal point of Michelle Obama’s well-publicized “Let’s Move” campaign. In recent years, the battle against childhood obesity has found its way into family court—and is ... Read More
Family Law/Mar 1, 2013

Parenting Time and Travel Considerations in a Mobile Society

Nearly half of all marriages will end in divorce. As our society becomes increasingly mobile, the need to address long-distance parenting time becomes progressively more common. When dealing with a divorce where the parties will live and work in different states, there are many considerations the parties should carefully consider: What is the best way ... Read More