Families & Children Blogs & Articles

Joint Custody Bill Debate Hits Grand Rapids | Johnsen Wikander P.C. West Michigan Divorce Attorneys

Joint Custody Bill Debate Hits Grand Rapids

Child custody matters are incredibly sensitive during a divorce. As divorce attorneys, we know there can enormous benefits to parents reaching agreement through Collaborative Divorce, but sometimes litigation is necessary. A judge’s custody determining is often challenged later on as life situations change and parents’ views on their children’s best interests vary.

Proposed Michigan legislation, however, would change the system and create a presumptive 50/50 child custody split. House Bill 4691, the Michigan Shared Parenting Act, passed a House Panel earlier this summer and lawmakers are now trying to send it to the house floor. Recently, a town hall was held in Grand Rapids to invite community discussion on the bill. Read more

Controversial Mandatory Joint Custody Law Passes House Panel | Johnsen Wikander P.C. West Michigan Divorce Attorneys

Controversial Mandatory Joint Custody Law Passes House Panel

Potential new legislation, aiming to drastically change Michigan child custody laws, recently passed the Michigan House Judiciary Committee. We recently shared introductory information on the bill, which is sponsored by Rep. Jim Runestad, R- White Lake. Now that it has passed the Judiciary Committee, the bill still must make it through the full State House, Senate, and be signed by Governor Snyder to become law.

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Tips to Help Your Kids Cope With a Divorce | Johnsen Wikander P.C. West Michigan Divorce Attorneys

Tips to Help Your Kids Cope With a Divorce

Experienced divorce attorneys know the process can be one of the most challenging life experiences. Along with emotional distress, divorce can drain your time, money, and energy. The process can become significantly more complex when children are involved.

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Potential Custody Changes Coming to Michigan | Johnsen Wikander P.C. West Michigan Divorce Attorneys

Potential Custody Changes Coming to Michigan

Typically, one of the most sensitive issues during a divorce involves children, both custody and support. We believe in helping all parents with forward-looking guidance to achieve what is best for the long-term wellbeing of children, even in the most complex of cases. Read more

Family Photos Remain Important for Divorced Couple | Johnsen Wikander P.C. West Michigan Divorce Attorneys

Family Photos Remain Important for Divorced Couple

Part of our philosophy as divorce attorneys is to work compassionately with couples who are willing to work with each other. This looks differently for every case we handle, as every relationship is unique, and certainly does not always change or lessen the emotional wear and tear caused by a divorce.

One Alaskan woman has recently gotten a lot of attention for a non-traditional decision she made with her now ex-spouse following their divorce. Victoria and her former husband, Adam, have a son and continue to take photos together even though they have split. Read more

Teen Fills in at Daddy Daughter Dance | Johnsen Wikander P.C. West Michigan Divorce Attorneys

Teen Fills in at Daddy Daughter Dance

In recent years, daddy-daughter dances have become a staple at elementary schools across the country. One West Michigan teenager is getting a lot of attention for stepping in to take his younger sister to her school’s dance after their father abandoned the family in a divorce. Read more

Alaska Considering Pets in Divorce | Johnsen Wikander P.C. West Michigan Divorce Attorneys

Alaska Considering Pets in Divorce

Along with the emotional toll involved with a divorce, there is always the difficult process of dividing assets. Historically, courts across the country have viewed family pets as property to be considered in property distribution. Pet owners, however, will almost always tell you how they view the pets as another member of the family. Read more

West Michigan Ranks Well For Raising Families

A recently published report by Wallethub explored a wide range of factors to rank cities in Michigan for overall family friendliness. The 21 categories used for ranking cover everything from weather and air quality to traffic, school quality and area attractions. West Michigan cities were well represented, for better and worse, in many categories out of the 104 cities ranked. Read more

Parental Alienation Is Getting Its Own Rally In Michigan

A lot can happen during a custody battle. Not only are parents wrapped up in their divorce, but they’re also competing over who gets access to their children. One parent may live in Grand Rapids while another wants to move out-of-state. During these disputes, parents sometimes resort to extreme tactics to maintain custody. These strategies can sometimes result in “parental alienation,” an issue that has lead to a rally later this month. Read more

Basketball Player Represents Children Of Divorce

Divorce can be a trying time within families. Relationships often become strained between parents and their children. However, by finding a bond with a child, some marital tension can be avoided. This is of particular concern for someone who was abandoned by their own parent, like Duwad Abdur-Rahkman. However, he was able to maintain a bond with his son through basketball. Now his son is 21 years old and is quickly becoming a household name for Michigan sports fans.  Read more