Battle Creek Michigan Law Blog

The positive side of sharing custody

Parents of Battle Creek have to decide how they are going to be handling the custody situation after their divorce is finalized. There are several options available, each with their own drawbacks and benefits. Today we will examine joint custody, and the ways in which it could possibly benefit a child.

Psychology Today states that when parents work together and cooperate, joint custody can be one of the most beneficial forms of custody for a child of divorce. The ability to compromise is crucial, as disputes can make the environment less hospitable or beneficial for the kids. However, if there is compromise, healthy conversation, and a focus on the wellness of the child, they are shown to have a better sense of family and self. They also respond better to other authoritative figures, including teachers or law enforcement.

Are breath test readings accurate?

If you have ever been pulled over by Michigan law enforcement on suspicion of drinking and driving, you may have been asked to take a roadside breath test. These devices are used to determine drivers’ blood alcohol content level and whether it is over the legal limit of 0.08 percent. The problem lies in the fact that, when compared to an actual blood test, the blood alcohol results obtained from breath test devices can have significant variances. In fact, the State University of New York at Potsdam reported that BAC level readings from a breath test device can be as much as 15 percent different than those obtained from an actual blood test. As many as 23 percent of people tested could have inflated results. This is enough to wrongfully arrest and convict you of a DUI.

What makes breath test readings so unreliable. Studies show that different factors contribute to the inaccurate readings given by breath test devices. Chemicals from residual food, drinks, blood and vomit in the mouth can alter the results. The following can also influence results:

  •          Pollution, cigarette smoke and dirt in the air
  •          Relative humidity and temperature of the air
  •          Static interference from cellphones and officer radios
  •          Fumes from gasoline and cleaning products

How do you make concessions as a co-parent?

As a divorcing parent in Michigan, you and your co-parent need to decide what form of child custody you will seek. Sifting through the benefits and drawbacks of each option is an important place to start your decision-making process.

Today, we will take a look at joint custody. In particular, we'll examine one potential issue with it: making compromises. FindLaw defines joint custody as the shared custody between two parents of their children. This can mean equally split physical custody, but most often refers to legal custody. With legal custody being shared, both parents are responsible for making life-shaping decisions such as where the child goes to school, what medical treatments they may have, and so on.

3 essential items to include in your estate plan

If you haven't given much thought to what will happen to your assets when you die, there is no time like the present. While most people tend to think that death is something that they have years or decades to prepare for, the reality is that none of us know exactly what tomorrow will bring. This is what makes it essential to begin the estate planning process as soon as possible.

When you begin building your estate plan, there are some essential documents you should include. For example, if you have minor children, you should add a guardianship designation in you estate plan. Here are three other estate plan must-haves.

New law would lower DUI standard level in Michigan

In Michigan, the current DUI standard is .08, but some lawmakers are looking to lower that to encourage drunk drivers to think twice before getting behind the wheel. If the bill passes, it will make Michigan the country’s second state to have a limit as low as .05. According to the lawmaker introducing the bills, the evidence and research supports the idea that the roads are safer when the legal limits are lower.

According to WSBT22, the bill includes two proposals. One would add an interlocking device to the vehicle of anyone who has been convicted of drunk driving after their first time. As of right now, the interlocking device is only added when a driver is super drunk driving, which means they had a blood alcohol level of .17 or higher. The second proposal would lower the legal limit in the state from .08 to .05.

What should I know about prenuptial agreements?

If you’re like most couples in Michigan, you don’t go into a marriage planning for a divorce to happen. Unfortunately, divorce is a sad fact of life for many married people, which is why implementing a prenuptial agreement is so important. If you and your spouse-to-be are on the fence when it comes to pre-nups, Bankrate offers the following advice.

Fair isn’t always the same

Why might you challenge someone’s will?

If you were distressed to find out that your recently deceased Michigan relative left you little or nothing in his or her will, you may be thinking about challenging that will. Before you do, however, you should know that unhappiness over a bequest does not rise to the level of a valid reason to challenge a will.

Instead, as FindLaw explains, you must prove that the will was somehow defective in order to prevail in a will challenge. Generally, the two most successful will challenge grounds are the testamentary incapacity of the deceased at the time (s)he made his or her will and/or the fact that someone unduely influenced him or her to make the will the way (s)he did.

Fighting restraining orders during a divorce

We know that restraining orders are frustrating and complicated. This is especially true if you were going through a tough divorce in addition to suffering under these legal restrictions. At Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher, P.C., we want to help.

It is acceptable to make mistakes. However, misunderstanding the terms or consequences of your restraining order should not be one of them. It would probably be instrumental in achieving your divorce goals to fervently defend against these charges. 

Can you spot a bad business partner?

A business is only as strong as the people who run it. If you get a bad business partner, it can absolutely run your promising young company into the ground.

It's important to see this coming before you get there. You may have some options to end the business relationship, depending on your ownership percentages, your roles with the company, the contract you signed when you started working together and a host of other factors.

How do I stop an international parental abduction?

When it comes to hashing out custodial rights in Michigan, few parents are 100 percent satisfied with the final ruling. This may especially be the case for parents who are not awarded the primary custodial rights.

Unfortunately, some disgruntled parents may respond by making a run for it and taking the child to another country. If you suspect that a parental abduction may be taking place, it is important to act quickly. Here are some recommendations from the U.S. government on how to stop a parental abduction in progress.

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