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FAMILY LAW 36: Trial court found proper cause because health and education are important subjects relating to custody.

In this child custody matter, plaintiff-mother’s files motion for sole legal custody of their two minor children.

The hotly disputed issue in this case is the medical care of the children. From October 2016 to May 2017, the two children visited the pediatrician a total of 28 times. In between those visits, defendant repeatedly took the children to after-hours clinics seeking antibiotics.

The parties disagreed over how to characterize the nature and frequency of these medical visits. Plaintiff believed the visits were medical child abuse and lodged a complaint with Child Protective Services, which declined to investigate.

Defendant believed that each visit was a medical necessity.

The various doctors who testified generally agreed that defendant was aggressive in seeking treatment for his children, but that he acted appropriately and did not cross the line into medical abuse.

Defendant argues that the trial court committed error when it failed to conduct an interview and consider the reasonable preferences of the children and let the parties stipulated that no interview was necessary or desirable.

The Child Custody Act requires that the court consider the reasonable preference of the child, if one exists. This is true regardless of whether the parties wished for an interview. Here, the trial court considered whether interviewing the children would be necessary or beneficial and ultimately agreed with the parties that an interview was not necessary.

Defendant argues that the trial court (1) failed to consider the children’s reasonable preferences, (2) failed to make a threshold finding regarding a change in circumstances before considering the children’s best interests and (3) that no such change in circumstances existed, (4) improperly considered the routine medical decisions at issue to have a bearing on joint legal custody, and (5) based its determination of the best interests of the children on factual findings that were against the great weight of the evidence.

To establish proper cause, the moving party must establish by a preponderance of the evidence an appropriate ground that would justify the trial court’s taking action. The trial court found that proper cause was established because the children’s health and education are two very important subjects relating to custody. When parents cannot agree on a child’s medical treatment and educational course, these topics can have significant effects on a child’s well-being.

If you are going through a divorce or are separating from the mother or father of your children, it is important to protect your custodial rights.

At the Plymouth and Ann Arbor law firm of Aldrich Legal Services, our attorneys represent parents throughout southeast Michigan with a wide range of custody-related matters..

Contact Aldrich Legal Services

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.

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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.

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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).

LITIGATION 6: The terms of the agreement prevails over the course of performance.

The trial court determined that under the UCC, the express terms of the parties’ agreements prevailed over the course of their performance and course of dealing. Although a course of performance may show that parties have waived a specific contractual term under MCL 440.1303(6), the statute does not similarly provide that a course of dealing may demonstrate waiver.

PROBATE 27: Petitioner filed a petition for mental-health treatment.

In support of the allegations, petitioner attached clinical certificates from a physician and a psychiatrist who observed respondent at the hospital. Both doctors diagnosed respondent with bipolar disorder, determined that she displayed a likelihood of injuring herself and that she did not understand the need for treatment, and recommended a course of treatment that consisted of 60 days of hospitalization and 90 days of outpatient care.

5 Things Everyone Should Do Before Starting a Business

So, you have a great idea and the experience to back it up. You are in a great starting place, but you have some work to do before jumping into forming your own business. Consider the following steps before you begin the process of starting your...

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