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Mother's inability to overcome substance abuse results in termination of parental rights

The court held that the trial court properly terminated the respondent-mother's parental rights to the child where the statutory grounds for termination were established by clear and convincing evidence and termination was in the child's best interests. It held that the trial court did not clearly err in finding that termination was proper because "[t]he conditions that led to the adjudication continue to exist," and respondent "fails to provide proper care or custody for the child[.]" Her substance abuse prevented her from providing proper care and custody of the child and led to the adjudication. She had received substance abuse prevention services in the form of both inpatient treatment and outpatient therapy, including services to address the impact of her substance abuse on parenting. She was inconsistent with and not fully engaged in the therapy, never completed a substance abuse evaluation, and did not regularly submit to drug screens. She minimized her substance abuse problem and denied that it could affect her ability to parent her child. She ultimately admitted that she had been using drugs and needed help to stop, but continued to deny that it affected her parenting. Respondent entered a treatment program later that month, but left before completing it. She did not invest herself in treatment until the supplemental petition was filed. Considering that she made virtually no progress in overcoming her substance abuse problem after approximately a year of services, the trial court did not clearly err in finding that her substance abuse condition continued to exist and was not reasonably likely to be rectified, and that she failed to provide proper care or custody and was not reasonably likely to be able to do so within a reasonable time given the child's age. Although she had been attending outpatient treatment and providing clean drug screens since the supplemental petition was filed, respondent had done both before the supplemental petition was filed while actually still using drugs. Further, there was no evidence that she obtained and maintained a legal source of income in order to provide for the needs of herself and the child. The court also held that the trial court did not clearly err in finding that "[t]here is a reasonable likelihood, based on the conduct or capacity of [respondent], that the child will be harmed if he . . . is returned to the home of [respondent]," based on her continued drug use. Affirmed.

5 Common Misdemeanors Affecting People in Michigan

Originally posted on 11/08/2019 There are many different levels of crime and the consequences once someone has been charged with them. One bracket of crimes is known as a misdemeanor. Let’s go over this level of crime and some common...

PROBATE 44: The court held that the probate court did not err by declaring a will executed by the decedent invalid on the basis that she lacked testamentary capacity to execute it and that it was the product of petitioner’s undue influence.

Defendant and Decedent met in August 2017. In approximately November 2017, Decedent began talking constantly about wanting Defendant to take her to see an attorney for the purpose of changing her will. On March 19, 2018, Defendant filed a petition...

Michigan Expungement Law Updates For 2021

There has been a new laws regarding expungements for the state of Michigan.  Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation that expands the criteria for expungements related to traffic offenses, marijuana convictions, and minor...

Wills and Trusts

Originally posted on: 02/14/2014 Aldrich Legal Service provides legal advice and representation for residents in Plymouth, Ann Arbor, and Southeast Michigan. We also review recent legal cases to examine what took place and what we can...

REAL ESTATE 68: Holding that plaintiffs-buyers’ allegations of fraud in this case arising from the sale of a residence did not preclude the trial court from granting defendants’ motion for summary disposition based on a release, the court affirmed.

This cause of action arises from plaintiffs’ purchase of a residence from defendant, who had rights in the house under a land contract from co-defendant, the legal owner of the house. Before the house was for sale, in January 2018, an upstairs...

REAL ESTATE 65: Determining that it could not conclude the trial court erred in its factual findings, and that it did not err in reforming a 2005 deed, the court affirmed the ruling that defendants were fee simple owners of the disputed 50-foot area

This case arose from a real-property dispute between brothers, as well as their respective wives. After a bench trial, the trial court rendered its findings of fact. The trial court determined that plaintiffs did not prove that excluding the...

FAMILY LAW 58: The trial court did not err by denying defendant-father’s motion to change custody and modify his parenting time of the parties’ child without having an evidentiary hearing to determine if there was proper cause or a change in circums

This case arose from a custody and parenting-time dispute between plaintiff-mother and father over their minor child. After father failed to respond to the paternity complaint within the 21 days of receipt of the complaint, mother filed an affidavit...

DIVORCE 53: Although the court affirmed the trial court’s decisions to deny defendant’s motions to set aside the default and the default JOD, it vacated the portions of the default JOD as to the distribution of marital property, custody, parenting t

Plaintiff filed for divorce. Defendant filed an answer and a counterclaim for divorce.  Plaintiff and defendant were both ordered to appear at the settlement conference. After defendant failed to appear, the trial court entered a default. Soon...

FAMILY LAW 53: The trial court erred by treating the parties’ GAL as an LGAL and denying the parties the right to question her at a hearing; however, the trial court did not err in requiring the parties to compensate the GAL for her services.

Plaintiff and Defendant were never married, but share a young son who was born in 2016. The parties have battled over custody, child support, and other parenting issues ever since. In the spring of 2019, the parties filed competing motions to modify...

The Difference Between Theft, Robbery, and Burglary

Original Post: 1/11/2019 Often, burglary, robbery, and theft are used interchangeably even though there are distinct differences between all of them. Though, what all three do have in common is they may involve the unlawful taking of...

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