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Brighton Family Law Blog

Personal injury: Wrongful death claims might follow fatal crash

According to  police in Michigan, a 20-year-old man will likely be arraigned on charges related to a fatal car accident that occurred in the early morning hours of a recent Tuesday. The crash investigation is ongoing, but a preliminary report indicates that the driver fled the crash scene on foot. It is not known whether he suffered any personal injury, but his two passengers lost their lives.

Reportedly, the driver failed to maintain control of the vehicle, and it left the roadway. The car rolled over after crashing into a tree. Authorities say firefighters had to use mechanical equipment to get the two passengers out of the wreck. Sadly, they had both already succumbed to their injuries by the time the first responders arrived.

Family law best practices when going through a custody battle

During divorce proceedings, it is not uncommon for one or both parents to not see their child for periods of time as custody is decided. When dealing with family law issues related to custody, there are a few things Michigan parents should keep in mind. Following legal best practices and behaving appropriately can help people who are trying to get more time with their child or children.

False accusations often backfire in custody proceedings, so it is important to keep any claims honest and backed by evidence if possible. If the other parent is abusive, evidence can be as simple as a video of their behavior captured by a home security system. Those who are concerned about their children's well-being while in the other parent's care can request an in-home custody evaluation.

Family law understanding and emotional maturity helps in divorce

There are many different definitions of what it means to have a "successful" divorce. Some define it as negotiating a fair settlement where everyone gets the right amount of assets and protections under family law. Others interpret it as a divorce that is quick and involves less conflicts. Almost every person going through a divorce in Michigan will come into contact with challenges and emotional decisions throughout the process. Here are some tips for getting through a divorce in a civil, psychologically healthy way.

One of the first tips is to treat the divorce in as business-like a way as possible. This includes eliminating any intimacy, avoiding deep and emotional conversations and respecting boundaries. Once a couple has decided to divorce, it is a good idea for each party to remain as independent and civil as possible.

Family law may influence estate plans of divorcing individuals

When people undergo a divorce, changes often are needed across multiple aspects of their lives. Estate planning is one of the things people should consider during and after a marriage ends. Michigan individuals should look into their estate plans during all major life changes, as many issues related to wills and wealth transition can be influenced by family law.

One of the first things people should look into during or after a divorce is a health care proxy and power of attorney. After ending a marriage most people choose to change the power of attorney from a spouse to another trusted family member. To do this, a person will need to revoke power of attorney from their former spouse and execute a new one.

5 things you cannot put in a prenup

Prenuptial agreements are useful legal agreements for couples to have in place prior to marriage. Recently, the Michigan House approved legislation that would expand the number of instances that would make a prenup unenforceable. 

At the end of the day, a prenup distinguishes between marital and separate property. It can also protect one spouse against the other's debts, and it can keep any family property within that family. However, there are certain items couples cannot include in this document. Additionally, a prenup will be invalid if one spouse has failed to disclose all assets. To avoid the court throwing out the prenup later in the event of a divorce, do not put the following in a prenup: 

Consider family law and taxes when planning post-divorce finances

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 800,000 couples in the United States divorce each year. The reasons behind these divorces may vary, but almost all of these breakups involve big family law and financial considerations. Michigan individuals who need to rebuild financially after a divorce are advised to think ahead so they can advocate for their needs in mediation or court.

Besides splitting property, there may be many fees for services related to divorce. This can include everything from having a marital home appraised to legal fees to counselling to get through the challenges. Plan ahead with these fees in mind, and have a clear understanding of finances prior to hiring professionals by collecting documents such as tax returns, bank statements and loan information.

Family law may restrict travel with kids during divorce

Choosing to end a marriage can be a challenging undertaking. As former couples work through issues like custody and division of assets, many face issues under family law that can restrict travel and cost additional money. It is a good idea for divorcing couples in Michigan to understand the possible restrictions they may face as they go through a divorce process.

Insurance is one of the more contentious issues during the period before a divorce is finalized. It can take several months or even years to finalize a divorce, during which time the insurance-holding spouse may be legally required to keep his or her ex on his or her health insurance policy. This can be expensive for those who pay out-of-pocket for insurance.

Breastfeeding is a child custody issue under Michigan family law

The decision of whether breastfeed is usually a personal and private choice, but this can become a legal matter when custody comes into play. In some states, judges will consider breastfeeding when determining custody as under their family law systems access to breast milk to be a matter related to the welfare of the child. In others, this does not play into the decision. Michigan parents facing custody issues should review the standards in their state.

Michigan is one of a few states where judges consider breastfeeding with regard to children less than a year old. There is particular emphasis on this factor for children six months old or less. This does not guarantee a mother custody of an infant, but rather gives the judge the right to consider it as a factor when allocating parenting time.

Prenuptial agreements can protect wealth under family law

People often consider prenuptial agreements to protect their own wealth, but what about family estates? Children coming from wealthy families about to get married should consider whether their marriage will put family owned assets in jeopardy. Understanding Michigan family law as it relates to marital property and coming up with a secure prenuptial agreement can be helpful in these cases.

No one plans on getting divorced, but it is still always a possibility for people tying the knot. Parents with children set to inherit wealth may caution their children to look into a prenuptial agreement prior to the marriage. This is usually a way to protect family assets, though it can be rejected or dismissed by children who are in love.

How can you track down a dog owner after the dog bites you?

Say that you were out on your bicycle in the woods or gardening in your front yard. Seemingly out of nowhere, a dog approached, and after some banter between the two of you, attacked you. It then ran off.

You sought medical attention for your injuries, and the bills keep coming. You would like to seek help from the dog's owners and their insurance policy, but how can you track the owners down?

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

Toll Free: 866-413-1606
Phone: 810-626-3281
Fax: 810-229-4764
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