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Brighton Family Law Blog

Does family law allow for lump sum alimony?

For unhappy couples, finalizing a divorce often feels like crossing a monumental finish line. Some people may be unhappy to realize that they are still somewhat tethered to an ex-spouse through alimony. Although alimony is an important aspect of Michigan family law that is often vital to a person's well-being, those who are ordered to pay that support can take steps to lessen the feeling of being financially attached to their ex.

In most situations, alimony -- also commonly referred to as spousal support -- is paid on a monthly basis. While this might seem like the easiest setup, there are some potential downfalls. Accidentally missing a payment can put a person in a bad place with the court. Additionally, it can act as a constant reminder of an ex-spouse and unhappy marriage.

How social media can help you through your divorce

Social media seems to be everywhere these days. In fact, you probably cannot go to a restaurant without seeing someone posting a photograph of an entrée to Instagram or Twitter. While you may be a social media maven, you must think twice about what you post during your divorce proceedings

Family law attorneys almost unanimously agree that you should not disparage your soon-to-be ex on social media. You also may not want to post photographs that indicate lavish spending. Still, you may not have to avoid social media altogether. On the contrary, using platforms intelligently may help you through your divorce proceedings

Will the new tax law affect family law issues like divorce?

The beginning of a new year is a popular time for some couples in Michigan to realize that they need a fresh start, and to file for divorce. While this is not an uncommon process at all, the outcome may be much different than it was in the past. New tax laws are set to have a significant effect on the outcome of many family law issues, particularly divorce.

In the past, a person who paid alimony could deduct the expense on his or her taxes while the recipient would list it as taxable income. While those who finalized their divorces before the calendar flipped over to 2019 will still be able to follow this system, going forward this will no longer be the case. This means that fights over the size of alimony may become more frequent. If a person cannot deduct the expense of paying alimony, he or she might be more resistant to shelling out large chunks of after-tax money. Even for those who were grandfathered into the system, modifying their agreements could end up with them having to follow the new rules rather than the old.

Does Michigan family law address grandparents' rights?

You do not stop being a parent once your child becomes an adult, and in some ways the job may be even more emotionally draining. Dealing with the emotional aftermath of an adult child's divorce or death can be particularly difficult. This is especially true when your relationship with your grandchildren is compromised. Although Michigan family law does not automatically give grandparents rights, you might be able to secure visitation if it is in your grandchildren's best interests. 

Grandparent visitation is usually only applicable in a certain number of scenarios. For example, you cannot get visitation because you disagree with your child's parenting methods and want to spend more one-on-one time with a grandchild, but you could potentially assert visitation rights if your adult child is in a pending divorce. Other potential scenarios include: 

  • Your grandchild's parent has passed away. 
  • Your adult child is separated or divorced. 
  • Paternity has been established if your child was never married. 
  • Custody of your grandchildren was given to someone other than the parents. 
  • You provided a custodial environment sometime in the past year. 

Should I file a personal injury claim for my dog bite injury?

The physical injuries associated with dog bites are often severe, and many victims also experience long-lasting emotional trauma. If you were the victim of a dog bite, you can seek compensation from the dog owner through a personal injury claim. Like other victims, you may find that financial compensation can be an essential tool for your recovery. 

Unlike other states, Michigan does not require that you prove the dog's owner was negligent. Instead, when a dog bites or otherwise injures someone, its owner is considered strictly liable. This means no tedious gathering of data to show that the animal had exhibited vicious tendencies in the past or that the owner had purposely let it off its leash. In short, if a dog hurts someone, the owner is almost always responsible. 

Criminal defense for embezzlement

Being accused of embezzling company funds can be a potentially career-ending experience. If you were recently charged with embezzlement, you already know how much is on the line, and it is more than just your career. You could also face potentially severe criminal consequences. Like most other Michigan defendants, you are probably eager to minimize these kinds of impacts through a carefully crafted criminal defense plan.

Popular movies and TV shows often depict embezzlement as a sophisticated operation that regularly moves thousands of dollars out of a business. Real life allegations of embezzlement usually happen on a much smaller scale and may not involve actual money at all. Common allegations can include: 

  • Stealing trade secrets 
  • Stealing merchandise 
  • Writing business checks to yourself 
  • Making false expense claims 
  • Misappropriating client funds 

Understand your family law options for a better divorce

Even when the time has come to end a marriage, the prospect of actually going through a divorce might cause some to hit the pause button. Divorces are often expensive, time-consuming and emotionally draining. However, for Michigan couples who are hoping to divorce while still on the best possible terms, there are other family law options.

Mediation is a popular alternative to divorce because it gives couples the power to make their own decisions. This means that instead of leaving everything up to a judge or battling things out in court, a divorcing couple can sit down and work things out alongside a neutral mediator. The mediator will help guide the process and may even help exclusively with a specific issue, such as property division or child custody. Individuals can still retain their own legal representation during mediation, too.

Reducing personal injury incidents related to distracted driving

Distracted driving is one of the biggest safety concerns in Michigan and across the United States. Despite the fact that most people know it is risky, many drivers continue to engage in this dangerous behavior. Law enforcement and other parties continue to fight for fewer distraction-related personal injury incidents by increasing awareness.

In Michigan alone, 72 people died in accidents related to distracted driving, while approximately 7,000 suffered injuries. Across the United States, distracted driving is the reason for 10 deaths every day. Unfortunately, statistics also indicate that distracted driving is the leading cause of death for teens. It is becoming increasingly important to educate all drivers about the dangers of distraction and what behaviors could distract and lead to accidents.

The link between road construction and car wrecks

As cities across Michigan continue to grow in both geographic size and population, road construction will continue to be a common site on the state’s roadways. Though often necessary, road construction brings with it additional hazards for motorists, and these construction zones are a common cause of car wrecks, associated with injuries and even deaths.

Just how much of a link is there between road construction zones and car crashes?

Family law sees your pup as property -- a prenup can help

Living together and even owning a four-legged friend before marriage is hardly uncommon in today's society. While most couples -- married or not -- find great companionship in owning a pet, things can get messy during a divorce. Under Michigan family law, an animal is property regardless of the feelings a person might have toward it. Rather than potentially lose a deep, established bond with a pet, some owners are using prenuptial agreements to sort out these issues early on.

Since pets are considered property, judges usually are not that eager to help warring couples work out agreements that resemble child custody arrangements. Instead, it is more likely to see the dog, cat or other animal awarded to one person with the other having no options to see it. Unfortunately, some people even use pets as bargaining chips to get what they want from their divorce without having to compromise.

Law Offices of Harris & Literski
123 Brighton Lake Road, Suite 205
Brighton, MI 48116

Toll Free: 866-413-1606
Phone: 810-626-3281
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