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Westland Legal Blog

Real estate closings: Beware of unrealistic closing dates

When you plan to purchase a piece of commercial real estate, you no doubt want the transaction and "deal making" process to be completed as quickly as possible. This may result in your pressuring the selling party to close on the deal fast. The seller, worried that the deal will not go through, could be more than willing to comply with your request.

However, when setting a closing date for a commercial real estate deal, it's vital that you stay realistic with timing. Set a closing date that's doable -- not one that's a fantasy.

What's a durable power of attorney?

If you suffer a serious health event or accident and become incapacitated, the world doesn't stop turning. You'll still have bills to pay and you'll still need to manage your investment accounts. A durable power of attorney is a way for you to make sure that someone -- who you choose and designate -- will have the power to manage your investment accounts and other financial details.

The agent designated in your durable power of attorney will be able to deposit money, withdraw many, write checks, pay bills and make decisions with your investment advisors regarding your financial accounts. Since a high degree of financial responsibility will be involved in these tasks, you want to make sure you choose an agent who is responsible and capable of navigating the world of your finances.

Could Michigan soon have an automatic 50-50 custody bill?

Michigan parents may want to take note of House Bill 4691, the Michigan Shared Parenting Act. This bill -- which offers automatic 50-50 custody to divorcing parents -- could become a state law. Last Friday, an activist group in favor of the proposed measure gathered at the downtown Grand Rapids courthouse to show their support for the legislation.

Supporters say that the proposed measure would resolve the "heartbreaking and ineffective family court system across Michigan." The group believes that the law the court system "negatively and unapologetically pits parent against parent and hurts children of ALL ages." Advocates further claim that the bill would provide parents with more equivalent amounts of parenting time following a divorce.

International child custody disputes: Here's what you should know

International child custody disputes are particularly more likely to happen to individuals who have lived overseas and had a baby with a foreign partner, or to individuals who have been married to a foreign spouse. If a dispute over child custody comes up, the foreign spouse might travel with your child to his or her home country and never come back. Doing so, however, could be a violation of international child custody laws.

If your child has been taken from you in an international child custody dispute, here is what you should do:

  • Get in touch with a family law lawyer who has experience with international child custody matters: Your lawyer will know exactly what to do in order to communicate with the foreign government where your child is currently located. Your lawyer can also attempt to negotiate with your ex the voluntary return of your child without the need for costly and drawn out litigation.
  • Learn about the Hague Convention: The Hague Convention is an international treaty that many countries have signed. The Convention is designed to streamline the process of resolving international child custody disputes by requiring the countries involved in the dispute to honor the terms of foreign family court rulings and foreign child custody agreements.
  • Stay in contact with your children: It's hard when you're at a distance, but if you can find a way to stay in touch with your children overseas, do whatever you can. Send money, letters, pictures and -- if possible -- call them on the phone and by video chat as often as possible.

An overview of family law services for Michigan residents

If there is one thing we have discovered in our time serving Westland residents, it is that many people do not have a full understanding of family law. They think that representation during divorce is the only service family law attorneys provide. In truth, lawyers working in this field handle a wide range of legal issues. We want to help you understand just what a family law attorney can do for you and your loved ones.

Dealing with the responsibilities and the rights of families is the heart of family law. A family includes those who are married as well as those in common law relationships. As you might expect, it also includes any children in the family unit. Families include people of the opposite sex and people of the same sex. In short, a family is a group of people sharing life together.

When is a nondisclosure agreement fair and lawful?

Every employment circumstance is different, so if you're considering the fairness of a particular nondisclosure agreement, you need to review the unique circumstances of the job, person or party it applies to.

In many cases, a nondisclosure agreement makes perfect sense in Michigan, but sometimes it doesn't. If you're being asked to sign such an agreement, or if you're asking someone to sign such an agreement, it's important to review the legality of the document and its context. This will determine whether or not it will actually be enforceable in court.

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

An uncontested divorce is a divorce in which both parties are in agreement as to all issues, such as property division, child custody and spousal support payments. Disputes over these matters are the major reason divorce cases can drag on for months or even years. Uncontested divorces are relatively quick and sometimes can be finalized with only one court appearance. Should the parties be in total agreement as to all issues, a divorce can be finalized in just over sixty (60) days from the date of filing, unless the divorce involves minor children, then the matter might not be finalized until expiration of the statutory six month period.

Both contested and uncontested divorces are initiated when one party files for divorce. Uncontested divorces are generally much more straightforward and do not include the need for motions or interim hearings prior to finalization. Likewise, uncontested divorces do not require a trial, as the parties are in complete agreement.

Uncontested divorces are less expensive than contested divorces. Contested divorces often involve attorneys for both parties and typically require multiple court appearances, hearings, mediation, and eventually trial. While it is still a good idea for each party to obtain legal representation in an uncontested divorce, the court proceedings result in significantly lower attorney fees and fewer court costs.

Uncontested divorces likewise present fewer conflicts than contested divorces, which makes them less stressful for all parties involved.

Consulting a divorce attorney is the best way to determine whether or not your divorce may or may not be contested and what your particular case may require.

Clos, Russell & Wirth, P.C.
1515 S. Wayne Road
Westland, MI 48186

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Phone: 734-403-4117
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