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DIVORCE 25: Judgement of divorce ordered children as beneficiary on life insurance policies presently outstanding.

During their marriage, decedent and wife had two children. In 2012, the circuit court for Muskegon County entered a divorce judgment which, in pertinent part, required decedent to make monthly child support payments to wife.

In order to provide security for the payment of his support obligations in the event of his death, the judgment also ordered decedent to irrevocably designate the minor children of the parties as the beneficiary on any and all life insurance policies presently outstanding upon his life, until his duty to support shall cease. At the time, decedent had a group life insurance policy which provided for payment of death benefits in the amount of $400,000 upon his death.

Following decedent’s death in 2016, both children and wife asserted entitlement to the insurance benefits. The insurance company initiated an interpleader action in the federal district court for the western district of Michigan seeking a determination as to who was entitled to the insurance proceeds.

The federal court ordered each to receive approximately one-third of the insurance proceeds.

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FAMILY LAW 42: Motion to modify custody denied due to lack of supporting affidavits or documentation.

The lack of substantiation, again and again, could reasonably call into question plaintiff’s motives and credibility on all matters. The trial court appeared more than open to further considering a motion to modify custody if plaintiff would come forward with supporting documentary evidence, explaining why the court took the unusual step of denying the motion without prejudice.

WILLS/TRUSTS 21: Plaintiff alleged the University failed to use the funds consistent with the terms of the trust.

On April 23, 2018, plaintiff filed suit, alleging (1) breach of contract, namely the University’s failure to use the funds consistent with the terms of the Gift Agreement, and seeking damages or specific performance; (2) breach of fiduciary duty, on account of the University’s failure, as trustee of the charitable trust established by Professor’s gift, to comply with the terms and conditions of the resulting charitable trust; (3) violation of the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act, MCL 451.921 et seq.; and (4) the need for injunctive relief prohibiting the dissipation of funds during the pendency of the case.

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FAMILY LAW 41: To minimize disruptive changes in children’s custody, moving party must establish cause or a change of circumstance.

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DIVORCE 35: Proceeds received by one spouse in a personal injury lawsuit are generally considered separate property.

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REAL ESTATE 44: Rule of acquiescence in boundary disputes.

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FAMILY LAW 37: Referee recommended against changing legal custody or parenting time.

Plaintiff requested sole legal custody, arguing that she and defendant had difficulty co-parenting and that defendant would not agree to medical treatment for the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD, need for orthodontic work, and need for vision testing and glasses. Plaintiff also requested an alternating weekly or biweekly schedule during the summer, which would increase her overall parenting time.

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