Now Accepting New Clients!

MICHIGAN PROBATE 57: Brother granted permanent guardianship of siblings.

These proceedings arose after the tragic death of the children’s mother in a traffic accident. Appellant married the children’s mother. At the time, the mother had three children from a prior relationship. The couple went on to have seven additional children.

Consent Judgment of Divorce

The mother filed a complaint for divorce. The parties disputed the nature of the couple’s relationship and appellant’s role as a father. The eldest children denied that they were adopted by appellant and alleged that he was physically and verbally abusive to them and their siblings. They further testified that appellant was not affectionate or comforting to any of the children and did not play a role in parenting. In addition to his abuse of the children, there was also testimony that appellant verbally and physically abused the mother. The consent judgment of divorce was entered and again gave the mother sole legal and physical custody.

Although appellant was granted visitation, he initially moved into a camper on a friend’s property and later into an apartment. Appellant acknowledged that he never had the children for overnight visits because of his small residence. Appellant further acknowledged that his visits with the children were infrequent, but he faulted the mother. Appellant, however, never moved to enforce visitation with his children.

Petition for Temporary Guardianship

That same day the mother died in the traffic accident, appellee filed a petition for temporary guardianship of the minor children on the basis that one of the children was injured in the accident and no one had authority to make medical decisions for the child.  A guardian ad litem (GAL) was appointed for the children. She attempted to contact appellant, but he did not respond. Appellees were appointed temporary guardians for the minor children.

GAL Investigation

Appellant objected to the temporary guardianship. After the parties obtained legal counsel, appellees filed an amended petition. At a multiday hearing to address the extension of the guardianship, the eldest children, the mother’s relatives and friends, and school personnel testified regarding the mother’s care of the children, appellant’s treatment of and interaction with the children, and the eldest siblings’ role in aiding the mother to raise the children. The FOC and GAL investigation recommended that the temporary guardianship with appellees become permanent.

The trial court determined by clear and convincing evidence that welfare of the minor children was served by the appointment of appellees as full guardians.

Assistance with Guardianships

Aldrich Legal Services represents clients in a wide range of probate litigation matters. Given the emotional nature of these disputes and their financial impact on all involved, it is critical that anyone involved in such a dispute retain highly qualified legal counsel.

Contact Aldrich Legal Services

Speak to a Pro: (734) 404-3000

MICHIGAN REAL ESTATE 95: Property owners did not place a condition upon the delivery of the deed; rather, they delivered the deed to themselves.

When the delivery of a deed is contingent upon the happening of some future event, title to the subject property will not transfer to the grantee until the event has occurred. However, in this case A and J did not place a condition upon the delivery of the deed; rather, they delivered the deed to themselves, then deposited the deed with their attorney with the instruction to record the deed only upon the happening of a future event, thereby placing a condition only upon the recording of the deed.

FAMILY LAW 88: The trial court found that the children did not have an established custodial environment with defendant because, before the separation, he did not have a large role in the children’s lives.

The trial court credited plaintiff’s testimony that, before the parties’ separation, defendant spent minimal time helping to care for the children, so its finding that the children would not have looked to defendant for guidance, discipline, the necessities of life, and parental comfort during that time was not against the great weight of the evidence.

REAL ESTATE 89: RM had not included any language in the deed providing that the property was a joint tenancy with full rights of survivorship, the property instead became a tenancy in common.

RM drafted the deed without seeking counsel and mistakenly believed that, if either she or FK died, the property would fully pass to the surviving tenant. FK’s will provided that if his wife predeceased him—which she did—the personal representative of his estate should sell any residual property that he owned and divide the cash proceeds equally among his surviving children.

FAMILY LAW 83: A trial court can terminate a parent’s rights and permit a stepparent to adopt a child.

A trial court has discretion to terminate a parent’s rights and permit a stepparent to adopt a child when the conditions of MCL 710.51(6) are met. MCL 710.51(6)(b) requires the petitioner to establish that the other parent had the ability to visit, contact, or communicate with the children, and substantially failed or neglected to do so for a period of two years.

Don't let a bad decision, unfair contract, or a messy divorce get in the way of a promising future!
Contact the experienced team at Aldrich Legal Services today to schedule your free initial
and secure reliable and trustworthy representation today!
Get the Help You Need From a Team You Can Truly Count On: (734) 404-3000