Clos, Russell & Wirth, P.C.
734-403-4117 local 877-354-0660 toll free
view our Practice areas

Westland Legal Blog

Do you want to have sole custody of your child?

Do you want to have sole custody of your child? To have sole custody, in the truest sense of the word, you will need to obtain both full physical custody and full legal custody.

The differences between these two types of child custody are significant in terms of what they provide the mother or father who is seeking them.

What's the 100-mile child custody rule?

Imagine you received an excellent job offer across state lines. Or, imagine your sick mother needed you on the other side of the country. If you're a single parent who shares child custody with the other parent, this kind of dilemma could represent a serious problem: Can you move to the new location so you can take the job offer or help your mother without violating your child custody agreement?

If the other parent of your child does share custody with you and at least has regular visitation rights, this kind of dilemma could, indeed, represent a difficult challenge. In the state of Michigan, family courts abide by the "100-mile" rule, which governs how far single parents can move their homes and bring their children with them with they share custody with another parent.

Setting the rules for resolving post-divorce parenting disputes

If you're raising your child as a single co-parent and sharing the parenting responsibilities with the mother or father of your child, you may not always see eye-to-eye with the other parent. In some cases, a parental disagreement like this could blow up into a dispute that ends up in court. However, if you establish some rules of procedure for resolving disputes within your parenting plan, you may be able to prevent a costly court battle.

Here are three important things that you can include in your parenting plan that will help prevent a serious legal dispute later down the road:

  • When the parents cannot come to an agreement or decision on a point of discussion, the parents will seek out professional assistance. This professional assistance may be from a family counselor, a mediator or an arbitrator.
  • If dispute resolution is necessary, the parents agree that Parent A will pay 50 percent and parent B will pay 50 percent of those costs.
  • If either parent wishes to begin a dispute-resolution process regarding a point of disagreement, he or she must inform the other parent via a written notice or certified mail.

Guilty Plea: Failure to pay over $550,000 in child support

A 64-year-old man, who escaped paying child support for decades, recently pleaded guilty to a failure to pay child support charge in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The father of four, who authorities located and arrested in Canada, could be sentenced to a maximum of two years in prison and two years of supervised release as a result of his conviction.

According to authorities, the man owed $559,000 in overdue child support. However, he had been living in Canada under a false name, which allowed him to escape arrest for 20 years.

Candy shop sues over soured real estate deal in Lansing

A federal lawsuit claims that a real estate enterprise stalled its development operations at a commercial real estate location Lansing Township. Allegedly, the real estate company, which the lawsuit claims was "illegal and fraudulent," delayed operations due to a conflict of interest.

Mimi's Sweet Shop, the company that filed the lawsuit through the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, says that two individuals connected with Lansing Township's Eastwood Downtown Development Authority delayed operations to give preferential treatment to other companies that were connected to them.

Basketball star Lebron James in trademark war

International basketball star LeBron James has recently become embroiled in a trademark dispute because of his barbershop video series. The creator of "The Social Club," another barbershop video series, claims that James and his company, Uninterrupted, stole the idea of a barbershop-based talk show from him.

According to the plaintiff, Adventure Enterprises, James' show, "The Shop," directly stole the unique concept for "The Social Club," which is "a dual-purpose barbershop and content studio whose mission, in addition to providing haircuts, is to support cultural discussion, building community, personal growth, and diversity."

Is it time to update your estate plan?

The last thing you want to do as an estate planner is to create your will and estate plan, then file it away and never look at it again. You should review your estate planning papers at least every five years, and preferably on an annual basis. Changes to your family and needs, and changes to state and federal estate laws, can all have an effect on your current estate plan and necessitate some changes.

Take the new estate planning rule relating to federal estate tax exemptions that went into effect in 2018 for example. The current estate tax exemption, as of 2018, is a whopping $11 million for individuals and $22 million for couples. This means that if you previously employed a mix of qualified terminable interest property trusts, credit-bypass trusts or life insurance trusts to minimize your estate tax burden due to it being over the old exemption levels, you might not need to take these elaborate measures anymore.

Financial concerns for women during divorce

Women and men are equal under the law, but that doesn't mean they have the same concerns, and that doesn't mean they're always treated equally by society. In some situations, one or the other sex has the advantage. When it comes to financial issues, women often face more challenges than their male counterparts -- this is true especially after getting a divorce.

Financially speaking, divorce tends to affect women more negatively than it does men. In fact, marriage brings various financial advantages to women. Married females tend to have a 20 percent higher income than never-married, widowed, separated and divorced females. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Married women also earn almost 10 percent more than unmarried men.

When single parents want to vacation with their children

It's time to start planning for your next summer vacation, and if you're a single parent, it means you may need to check in with the other parent of your child before you finalize your plans.

In order to make sure your summer vacation is a success, you may also want to consider the following:

  • Plan as far in advance as possible: No matter how well you get along with your ex, it's possible that the two of you will get into a disagreement about your travel plans. As such, the further ahead you plan, the more likely you can resolve any kind of disagreements that could arise. The last thing you want is a last-minute disagreement that interrupts your plans and ruins your vacation.
  • Be clear and communicate all the details: Make sure your ex knows everything about your travel plans, such as having a copy of your plane tickets, hotel reservations and other information. Also, be sure that you provide contact information to your ex throughout your trip so that he or she can get in touch with your children.
  • Get permission: Make sure you have permission if you plan to travel out of state or to another country. Make sure you understand your legal obligations in terms of your child custody orders and other information.
  • Make your checklist: Create an action plan of things you need to accomplish before your trip. Do you need to have copies of your child's health insurance for a trip overseas? Do you need to get your child's medications in order before your trip? Make a list and cover all of your bases in this regard.

How is the collaborative law process unique?

Most divorcing spouses have heard of the benefits of divorce mediation, but not all of them have been introduced to the concept of collaborative law. This advanced form of dispute resolution was actually created with marital conflicts in mind. A team of family law attorneys from Minnesota perfected the collaborative law process in the 1990s to help facilitate the swift, respectful and cost-effective settlement of their clients' divorces.

This process is different from normal mediation because the parties who participate must sign a written commitment to arrive at a respectful, reasoned and constructive settlement in all areas of their divorce, including child custody, child support, alimony and property division. By signing this commitment, the parties promise to employ fairness and good faith during their negotiations. They also promise to readily disclose all documentation required for a fully transparent negotiation.

Clos, Russell & Wirth, P.C.
35330 Nankin Boulevard, Suite 702
Westland, MI 48185

Toll Free: 877-354-0660
Phone: 734-403-4117
Fax: 734-595-9771
Map & Directions