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Birmingham, Michigan, Family Law Blog

Jennifer Hudson engaged in contentious child custody battle

Jennifer Hudson fans in Michigan may be following news of her ongoing court battle with a man she once intended to marry. She never did marry David Otunga, however, although the two had a son together. The boy is now the central focus of a child custody battle between the starlet and her former fiance.

Hudson's situation is evidence that not every custody battle occurs between formerly married spouses. Many single parents in this state and beyond may relate to the challenges Hudson now faces as she fights for custody of her son in court. The child in question is now age eight and the court recently issued a ruling that may have come as a surprise (and disappointment) to his mother.

Jolie and Pitt divorce back in the limelight again

Michigan readers and Hollywood fans throughout the nation spent a big part of their summer news-reading time following the details of Angelina Jolie's and Brad Pitt's family problems. For a while, their divorce was marked by a heated custody battle regarding the former couple's six children. Accusations of child abuse, substance abuse and other unsavory issues remained a central focus of court proceedings.

Word has it that even though Jolie and Pitt signed a prenuptial agreement, Pitt reportedly told his attorneys he was willing to give Jolie whatever she wanted in a settlement up to half of his $250 million fortune. Jolie has apparently turned down the offer. Those close to Jolie say she has declined any and all offers of monetary value regarding her divorce.

Should Michigan residents be worried about taxes and alimony?

In Michigan and throughout the United States, there always seems to be ongoing hot topic political debates of some sort. Lately, a major issue has to do with proposed tax reforms. Many people, especially those who are divorced or contemplating whether to file for divorce, are concerned about how the possibility of new tax laws may negatively affect those who pay alimony.

As it stands, paying alimony typically allows for a tax deduction. Consequently, receiving such payments is considered taxable income. All this may change if newly proposed tax reforms are passed by Congress and enacted into law. As recent as 2015, the IRS reported that as many as 12 million people claimed alimony deductions on their tax returns.

Overcoming child custody issues during the holidays

Many Michigan parents are facing their first upcoming holiday seasons since they divorced. Some are worried that child custody problems may impede their abilities to enjoy the holidays with their families. Even in situations where parents have existing court orders regarding agreed-upon parenting arrangements, if certain parties refuse to adhere to such orders, it can turn happily planned holidays into nightmarish events.

For instance, some people include specific holidays in their court-approved parenting plans. Perhaps one parent gets the kids for Thanksgiving and the other has custody during Christmas vacation from school. What is a parent to do if he or she has the court's permission to share a particular holiday with children and the other parent does not drop them off on time or refuses to let them attend?

Level of education may impact likelihood of divorce

Recent studies show education level is, in fact, a key factor that repeatedly appears in lists of commonalities among couples whose marriages end in court. Michigan readers might not immediately think of how far they went in school when asked to list the top three markers that suggest propensity toward divorce.  As it stands, those who leave high school before earning diplomas are far more prone to  marriages that do not last.

As many as half of marriages that include at least one spouse who dropped out of high school end in divorce. People who achieve college degrees are 20 percent less likely to call it quits in marriage. A psychologist weighing in on the topic said he believes it has more to do with the fact that lower education levels tend to lead to lower incomes, and lower incomes often lead to stressful lives. 

Father says he is not interested in money re child custody case

Many people in Michigan have been reaching out to help those whose lives were devastated by recent hurricanes in other states. One particular situation that was especially tragic involved a toddler whose mother did not survive the flood waters in their area. A child custody battle has arisen in that state in the aftermath of the storms.

The 3-year-old child's father wants to gain physical custody of his daughter. However, the deceased mother's cousin is also vying for custody. She is eligible because she was recently named guardian of the deceased mother's estate in a verbal pronouncement issued by a county judge in probate court.

Child custody case may have been compromised by official's breach

A woman working for a now disbanded organization that conducted investigations into alleged police misconduct has since been accused of breaching protocol herself. Allegations against the woman assert that she gave private information to another party that may have compromised an active child custody battle. The complicated situation in another state remains unfolding at this time. Michigan parents embroiled in contentious custody situations may relate to the mother in this story's frustration.

The mother of the child in question happens to be a police officer. She has accused her former romantic partner of several serious offenses, including stalking, domestic violence and violation of existing child custody orders. In an odd twist of fate, the woman working as a police misconduct investigator struck up a romantic relationship through an online dating service with the officer's former partner.

Life after divorce: How to move toward a happy new lifestyle

Most Michigan married couples do not enter their unions thinking they will one day wind up on opposing sides in court. In fact, divorce catches many spouses off-guard, thus setting the stage for some serious emotional challenges. The process is typically more easily navigable if one knows where to turn for support.

Talking to other people who have already divorced may be helpful. Also, looking ahead to the future and implementing various strategies may jump-start a successful new lifestyle and help newly divorced people overcome any lingering emotional trauma that exists. Others have weighed in on the topic, providing recommendations for how best to proceed to rejuvenate one's spirit after divorce.

Different types of custody in Michigan

You want what is best for your child, and so does the court in the case of a divorce. That is why child custody is a very serious matter that the court strictly regulates.

If parents are able to work together and determine a custody arrangement amongst themselves, the court usually lets that agreement stand. However, if both parties cannot agree, the court will determine custody, which can take a few different forms.

Know your property division laws before heading to court

Michigan residents, like others in the nation, often face challenges during divorce proceedings. No two situations are exactly alike. While the challenges that arise may vary, many people share common experiences regarding certain issues, such as child custody, visitation or property division. The latter is a particular concern for those who own businesses or circumstances involving high assets.

This state is similar to most others in that it is governed through equitable distribution rather than community property laws. That means marital property may not necessarily be divided 50/50 in divorce. The court will determine how best to fairly distribute all assets and debts subject to division.


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Birmingham, MI 48009

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