New Legislation may make joining the Bar Association Discretionary

In writing for this blog we generally stay nonpolitical. There are number of reasons for staying nonpolitical, but there is one subject which I am compelled to include in my turn to add to our firm blog.

There is currently legislation in Lansing to make joining the Bar Association discretionary. Currently, in order to legally practice law in Michigan you have to be a member in good standing with the Michigan Bar Association. Read more

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The 2013 Tax Season: Information for Divorced or Separated Parents Re: Dependency and Child Tax Credits

The 2013 tax season is upon us, which often brings a spike in court filings involving questions and confusion over what parent can claim what child as a dependency exemption and what child tax credits may be claimed and by whom.

The IRS issued Tax Guide 2013—Publication 17 (in English and Spanish) in November 2013, which is a 288-page document that provides valuable information for filers in search of clarity on who can claim whom and for what.  Read more

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Nullam dictum felis eu pede mollis pretium. Integer tincidunt. Cras dapibus. Vivamus elementum semper nisi. Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus. Aenean leo ligula, porttitor eu, consequat vitae, eleifend ac, enim. Aliquam lorem ante, dapibus in, viverra quis, feugiat a, tellus.

 

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Nelson Mandela’s Legacy

As everyone knows, Nelson Mandela died recently. As some news reports mentioned he was an attorney by profession. Mr. Mandela surely was one of the most impressive attorneys of our lifetime, perhaps of all time. He has to rank up among the most honored of our profession. Abraham Lincoln comes to mind. United States Supreme Court Justices come to mind: Thurgood Marshall, Oliver Wendel Holmes Junior, William O. Douglas, Benjamin Cardozo and I would add Harry Blackmun although I suppose there is some room for debate about Justice Blackmun. Read more

Forgiveness

A recent article in the Grand Rapids Press involved the mother of a son who was killed by one of his friends. The death was accidental, although a direct result of some poor choices and “horse play” by the young men. The article discussed how the deceased boy’s mother had forgiven her son’s friend for her son’s death. In a somewhat ironic twist, she was not allowed to visit her son’s killer as it is violated prison rules since she was not a relative of the prisoner. Read more

I thought I’d be divorced in six months?

You file for divorce, your spouse files a response. Then what? Do you just sit around for six months and wait for a court to, well, “divorce” you? The Michigan law requiring divorcing parties with minor children to wait six months is often hard for unrepresented litigants to understand. The six-month waiting period, in the most simplest terms, means that the court cannot grant a divorce (cannot grant a final order on custody, cannot order the division of your “stuff”) until the expiration of 180 days from the date a case is started. Read more

Prenuptial Agreements: Wave of the Future or Not Worth the Paper

Perhaps it is just another sign of the times, but requests for prenuptial and postnuptial agreements seem to be on the rise in recent years.  In an era where divorce is more common than it is not, the days of hoping for the best has securely been replaced with planning for the worst.

With this pre-planning comes a misconception that a future divorce will be less complicated and cheaper when a prenuptial agreement has been executed. Read more

Be Careful on Social Media

In my last blog, the three of us take turns; I talked about how it is possible to learn a lot about opposing parties in divorce cases by using social media. It is a dilemma for us and our clients as to how much time and effort (i.e. attorney fees) to use in cases researching social media. We try to have a discussion with our clients regarding the pros and cons of investing time in that issue. The flip side of that question is what social media content says about our clients. Read more

The Double-Dip: What does it even mean?

A common issue in divorce cases revolves around business interests, often held by one spouse and not the other. Business interests are marital assets, divisible upon divorce. The tricky part is determining what the business is worth and how the owner spouse compensate the non-owners spouse for their interest?   The so-called “double-dip” scenario involves whether or not the value of a business, and the excess earnings derived from same, can be considered when valuing a business and when considering spousal support. Read more