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The court held that the trial court did not err by denying the defendant's motion seeking custody of and parenting time with the plaintiff-father's son.

The parties were married, but had no children. The child was conceived out of an affair between plaintiff and another woman. The child eventually came to live with plaintiff and defendant, but they eventually divorced. Defendant sought custody and parenting time, but was denied on the ground that she lacked standing and the equitable parent doctrine did not apply. On appeal, the court rejected defendant's argument that she had standing. It first noted that "to allow defendant to claim that a child custody dispute has 'arisen incidentally' from her divorce proceeding with plaintiff would essentially subvert the intention of the Legislature to limit third-party custody actions under the CCA to individuals meeting specific conditions." Next, it held that even if there was an error in informing the trial court about the child, it was "not convinced that the custody and parenting time of the minor child was ultimately relevant to the divorce proceeding, or that a technical error should now act to confer standing on" defendant. Further, it found that "because a proper child custody dispute did not exist in the parties' divorce action," the line of authority indicating that non-parents could seek custody during an existing custody dispute was "not supportive of defendant's assertion that she ought to have been awarded custody and parenting time." Finally, the court rejected her argument that the trial court erred in holding that she was not the equitable parent of the child, noting the trial court "correctly recognized that the relevant case law does not support the application of the equitable parent doctrine under the facts of this case, and declined to extend it in a context where a child would then be declared to have three legal parents with the commensurate rights of custody, parenting time and the additional legal responsibilities." Affirmed. 

PROBATE 51: Trust filed a petition to determine title to credit union account.

The probate court explained that the owners of the account are S and J. When S passes, J becomes the owner of the account. J is the one who had the authority to make the designation. Nowhere in any documents is there a designation by J that SJ be the owner -- or the beneficiary of the account. The designation made by his father was no longer binding because he was no longer the owner at the time J passed away.

Invoking Your Right to Remain Silent

Originally posted on 07/19/2017 While the “right to remain silent” represents one of your most inalienable rights, many people have a few misconceptions about how it works. Many people receive their understanding of this...

Arrests made by tracking cell phones may be illegal

Originally posted on 02/10/2017 Law enforcement agencies are always looking for an edge in fighting crime. As cell phones have become an indispensable part of life for many people, authorities have taken to using these devices to track...

Could I lose my job over a drunk driving arrest?

Originally posted on 01/20/2017 When potential clients ask us questions about criminal defense representation (particularly for drunk driving offenses) one of the most common is whether they will lose their job.  Naturally, this...

FAMILY LAW 77: Court awarded plaintiff sole legal custody; defendant was unwilling to work with plaintiff.

For joint custody to work, parents must be able to agree with each other on basic issues in child rearing including health care, religion, education, day to day decision making and discipline and they must be willing to cooperate with each other in joint decision making. If two equally capable parents are unable to cooperate and to agree generally concerning important decisions affecting the welfare of their children, the court has no alternative but to determine which parent shall have sole custody of the children.

CRIMINAL 19: Sentencing guidelines are advisory.

The sentencing guidelines are advisory, and although a trial court must determine the applicable guidelines range and take it into account when imposing a sentence, the court is not required to sentence a defendant within that range.

Basic responsibilities of an executor

Originally posted on 01/11/2017 The emotional toils of dealing with the death of a loved one can be considerably difficult. Nevertheless, perseverance is paramount; especially if you are appointed to be an executor to one’s...

What you need to compliment your will

Originally posted on 02/08/2017 Making end-of-life plans usually end with a will, but they shouldn't. Some believe that simply having a will is enough. However, this post will briefly explain how having other estate planning...

The benefits of home health care providers

Originally posted on 03/22/2017 As we get older or suffer an injury, we need a little extra help. Home health care providers or caregivers can provide the assistance needed to handle your or your loved one's health and safety...

What to know about bail conditions

Originally posted on 03/06/2017 If you have been arrested and are being held on the suspicion that you have committed a particular crime, chances are that the only thing you are thinking about is getting out of jail as soon as possible and...

College students and estate planning

Originally posted on 12/16/2016 With college semesters starting up in Michigan, it may not be so easy to get college students to think responsibly. This time can be especially tough with the need of moving back to school and getting...

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