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Macomb County Law Blog

What are my rights as a criminal suspect?

People who find themselves facing criminal charges end up with a lot of questions, especially about their rights as a suspect. Knowing the answers to those questions ahead of time can make your legal defense much easier.

Is it illegal to not have my identification with me?

Could a parent lose child custody because of a low IQ?

Most people might believe their ex-spouses and the parents of their children are unintelligent, but what if the other parent has a severe cognitive impairment? For example, what if a parent has suffered brain damage, is mentally incapacitated or has a medical condition that has led to mental problems? Is it possible that a Michigan court could rule that the parent is unfit to care for his or her child?

In cases where a parent is "unfit," a court will usually move to revoke his or her parental rights and award full legal and physical custody to the other parent. The example of a case in Oregon may serve to answer the question of whether an IQ score could affect a parent's custody. According to court documents from the legal matter, state attorneys claimed that two parents possessed cognitive abilities that were so low that they would "interfere with (their) ability to safely parent their child."

Do you need to hire a private investigator for divorce?

Divorces can become extremely complicated, and that is why it is always a good idea to have an attorney in your corner. However, you may need to hire other professionals to assist you throughout the process. For example, many spouses find it advantageous to bring a forensic accountant onto their team to figure out how to divide complex financial portfolios. 

You may also want to consider hiring a private investigator to help you through the divorce proceedings. Not every divorce will require a P.I., but there are circumstances where it could be an immense asset for you. 

Should you tell your boss about a divorce?

Getting divorced is very personal. You may not feel all that comfortable discussing it with your boss. Do you need to do it?

While it may not be necessary in some situations, and you certainly do not have to go into detail, most experts agree that you will probably have to tell your boss the basic facts: that you are splitting up and when it's happening.

Relationship issues that only tend to get worse

When you identify relationship issues early on in your time as a couple, you may assume they'll only get better. Some couples even get married, figuring they'll work things out as they go. Unfortunately, the reality is that some issues only tend to get worse, and they can lead to divorce. A few examples include:

Not having common interests

Car accidents take more teen lives than any other cause

If you're 18 or older, you have made it out of what some experts call "the most dangerous two years of your life." These happen at ages 16 and 17. One researcher says that, among those who die unexpectedly before their time, the odds are highest that it happens during those two years.

The reason is teen driving. Despite advances in automotive technology, teen drivers still get into so many fatal car accidents that more of them die from these crashes than from suicide, cancer and any other accidents -- such as accidental drowning or bike crashes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), half a dozen teenagers die in car accidents daily.

Vacation time typically trumps child custody schedules

When figuring out your child custody plan during a divorce, one thing you need to consider is the role of vacation time. This does not necessarily mean time that you want to take the kids on vacation -- you may need to clear that with your ex -- but time that the children themselves get scheduled breaks from school.

Perhaps the most common example is Christmas break. The children get two weeks off from school, in many cases. How do you divide that time?

In Michigan, you could be arrested for OWI in your driveway

Police records are undoubtedly full of OWI arrests that are outright bizarre. One more occurred when law enforcement arrested a Northville man for drunk driving in his own driveway.

Questions abound. Was he actually driving? Was his arrest for OWI legal? The Michigan Supreme Court responded in the affirmative.

Parenting schedules may need to change as children grow up

Parents often make schedules when they get divorced, basing them on the children's needs at that current age. It is important for them to realize that these needs may change over time. Even if the parents feel like essentially the same people 10 years in the future, their children may feel like very different people indeed.

For instance, one couple split up when their daughter was just 3-years-old. Their plan had her moving back and forth between both houses so that they could each see her. On the whole, her parents tended to get along even after the divorce, so this plan worked very well.

How much does Michigan pay for a wrongful conviction?

You did not do anything wrong, but the jury still finds you guilty. Maybe it's just bad luck. Maybe the jury is biased against you. Perhaps you accidentally implicated yourself even though you were innocent.

Regardless, you wind up in jail for a year. After those long 12 months, when you cannot believe this happened to you, DNA evidence comes to the rescue. It proves that someone else committed the crime, and you get released.

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