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FAMILY LAW 33: Defendant posited that he was an affiliated father under the Revocation of Paternity Act.

Plaintiff gave birth to BT one day before she and defendant were married in July 2012.

In December 2013, plaintiff filed a complaint for divorce in pro per. During the divorce proceedings, both plaintiff and defendant suggested that defendant might not be the biological father of BT, and plaintiff asked the trial court more than once to order a paternity test to determine if defendant was BT’s father. The court indicated that it would take plaintiff’s request under advisement and issue a ruling after deciding whether a divorce case was the proper vehicle to contest the paternity of a child conceived and born prior to the marriage. No such ruling was forthcoming.

On December 3, 2014, plaintiff filed a stipulated judgment of divorce, which listed BT as a minor child of the parties and provided for a joint custody arrangement for her and defendant.

At the hearing held the same day, plaintiff admitted that she had stated in her complaint that defendant was BT’s father. She also admitted that there was no contrary DNA evidence testing currently available.

Following entry of the judgment of divorce, plaintiff filed a motion for revocation of an acknowledged father’s paternity under MCL 722.14371 of the Revocation of Paternity Act (RPA). Defendant opposed the motion, but a stipulated order for DNA testing was entered, and the results indicated that there was no probability that defendant was the father of BT.

Subsequently, defendant posited that he was an affiliated father under the RPA based on the entry of the judgment of divorce, which declared him to be the child’s father.

Plaintiff filed a motion asking the trial court to terminate defendant’s paternity and amend the parties’ judgment of divorce. At issue is whether the judgment of divorce determined BT’s paternity. The court never determined BT’s paternity despite having been repeatedly asked to do so, the judgment of divorce did not establish defendant’s paternity as an affiliated father under the RPA.

The court entered the parties’ judgment of divorce on or around December 3, 2014 and since then, neither party has properly sought to appeal the judgment. In other words, if the plaintiff wants to change the custody and parenting-time provisions in the judgment of divorce, she must file a motion for modification in the trial court.

Do Not Try to Solve A Paternity Dispute Alone

If you and your child's other parent are not married and cannot agree on the terms of your custody and visitation arrangements, you will need strong representation to preserve your right to remain involved in your child's life.

We understand what a stressful time this is for you when your custody rights are on the line. Contact Aldrich Legal Services to schedule a free consultation with one of our family law attorneys.

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Is My Conviction Eligible for Expungement?

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REAL ESTATE 44: Rule of acquiescence in boundary disputes.

The doctrine of acquiescence provides that, where adjoining property owners acquiesce to a boundary line for a period of at least fifteen years, that line becomes the actual boundary line. The underlying reason for the rule of acquiescence is the promotion of peaceful resolution of boundary disputes.

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.

REAL ESTATE 40: Tax Tribunal denied petitioner’s claim of a principal residence exemption (PRE).

MCL 211.7cc(2) provides that an owner of property can claim the PRE by filing an affidavit that must state that the property is owned and occupied as a principal residence by that owner of the property on the date that the affidavit is signed and shall state that the owner has not claimed a substantially similar exemption, deduction, or credit on property in another state.

The Steps of Construction Litigation

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REAL ESTATE 38: Plaintiff fails to make land contract payments.

The land contract stated that T Company sold real property to plaintiff. The land contract further stated that if plaintiff failed to make a monthly payment, T Company could execute the quitclaim deed, thereby terminating plaintiff’s rights to the real property under the land contract.

CONTRACTS 6: Do you understand the clauses in your Purchase Agreement?

The trial court granted defendants’ motion for summary disposition, concluding that the claims against the realty companies were barred by the valid release contained in the purchase agreement and that the claims against sellers were required to be resolved in arbitration because they fell within the scope of the arbitration clause in the purchase agreement.

DIVORCE 29: Spousal support in gross is non-modifiable, whereas periodic is subject to modification.

As the name implies, periodic spousal support payments are made on a periodic basis. Periodic spousal support payments are subject to any contingency, such as death or remarriage of a spouse, whereas spousal support in gross is paid as a lump sum or a definite sum to be paid in installments. In addition, one major difference between the two types of spousal support is modifiability. Spousal support in gross is non-modifiable, whereas periodic spousal support is subject to modification pursuant to MCL 555.28.1.

How to Dispute an Insurance Adjustment

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PROBATE 28: Probate court enters a protective order providing support for a community spouse.

A probate court’s consideration of the couple’s circumstances cannot involve an assumption that the institutionalized spouse should receive 100% free medical care under Medicaid or an assumption that a community spouse is entitled to maintain his or her standard of living. Medicaid is a need-based program, and a Medicaid recipient is obligated to contribute to his or her care.

REAL ESTATE 36: Plaintiff argued that her claim was not time-barred because it did not accrue until the grandmother’s death.

Plaintiff’s interest in the subject property is best characterized as a remainder estate, because her right to possession of the property was postponed until the occurrence of a specific contingency, that being the deaths of the grandparents. Plaintiff pursued this action within the 15-year limitation period; accordingly, this action is not barred by MCL 600.5801(4).

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