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Macomb County Law Blog

These child custody holiday tips can help keep the peace

The holiday season is one of the most exciting times of the year for your children. Unfortunately, if you don't take the right approach, you could end up adding stress and tension to this joyous occasion by arguing with your ex-spouse about custody- and visitation-related issues.

These three child custody holiday tips can help keep the peace throughout the holidays:

  • Plan in advance: For example, don't wait until December 23 to hash out a schedule for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Instead, get on the same page as far in advance as possible.
  • Spend time together as a family: Depending on the health of your relationship with your ex, you may be able to make this work. Even if you only spend an hour together as a family, it'll have a positive impact on your children.
  • Split the date: This is the best way to ensure that both parents get to spend time with their children on holidays. For instance, you may agree to visit with your children during the morning hours of Thanksgiving Day, with your ex spending the afternoon and evening with them.

Ask for a prenuptial agreement without sounding overbearing

Your wedding day is approaching and you've come to realize that you've yet to discuss the creation of a prenuptial agreement with your partner. If this is something you're interested in, it's critical to bring the subject to light as soon as possible.

Here are three ways to ask for a prenuptial agreement without coming across as overbearing or forceful:

  • Open up to your partner: The biggest mistake you can make when asking for a prenuptial agreement is neglecting to share your true feelings with your soon to be spouse. Tell them why you want a prenuptial agreement, while focusing on what it can do for both of you.
  • Make it clear that you're not planning to divorce: The problem with asking for a prenuptial agreement is that it gives the impression that you're already thinking about getting a divorce in the future. Make it clear that this isn't your intention, and that you're simply trying to protect the both of you in the event that it does happen.
  • Really listen: Don't do all the talking, but instead listen to what your partner has to say. They may have concerns about creating a prenuptial agreement. They may have questions they want you to answer. Don't be afraid to sit back and really listen to your partner.

Joint credit card debt and divorce: What will you do?

Married couples make one financial decision after the next. For example, during your marriage you may have decided that it was best to use joint credit cards for some purchases.

If you decide to divorce, it's critical to review your joint credit card debt with an eye toward taking the appropriate action. Here are some of the best ways to deal with joint credit card debt in divorce:

  • Talk about leaving your marriage with no joint credit card debt: If your spouse is open to the discussion, look into ways to eliminate joint credit card debt before you divorce. For example, if you have enough money in your joint savings account to cover this debt, you may want to use the funds to eliminate it.
  • Cancel all joint credit cards: Let your spouse know you're doing this and then take action. Leaving open joint credit card accounts invites your spouse to continue using them.
  • Use a balance transfer credit card: If you can't pay off your joint debt, use a balance transfer credit card to divide it down the middle. This allows both individuals to take on their share of the debt. You can then manage it however you best see fit.

A new job, relocation and the best interests of your child

You have mixed emotions about the new job your employer offered you. It is a great opportunity, but it also means relocating from Detroit to Cleveland.

This means modifying your child custody agreement for visitation with Annie, your 10-year-old daughter. Annie always looks forward to spending time with you. How will this move affect her?

These types of distracted driving can cause an accident

Many motor vehicle accidents are the result of distracted driving. Despite the laws in place to protect against this, some drivers continue to let distractions dictate what happens while they're behind the wheel.

Understanding the most common types of distracted driving can help you avoid trouble. Here are six things you need to avoid when operating a motor vehicle:

  • Daydreaming: It's easy for your mind to wander, especially if you're sitting in traffic or cruising down the highway. If you find yourself distracted or lost in thought, bring yourself back down to earth by focusing on what's happening around you.
  • Texting: When you text, you take at least one hand off the wheel. You also take your eyes off the road. Furthermore, you're not thinking about driving, but instead, you're focused on crafting a message. All of these things greatly increase the risk of an accident.
  • Talking on the phone: Even if you're using a hands-free device, talking on the phone has the potential to distract you.
  • Eating or drinking: Many people make it a habit to eat or drink while driving, especially during the early morning hours when they're in a hurry to reach their destination. This causes you to remove one or both hands from the wheel, as well as looking away from the road.
  • Passengers: From your children in the backseat to your co-worker in the front seat, passengers have a way of distracting you from the task at hand. Protect against this by letting them know that you must remain alert and focused on the road at all times to keep everyone safe.
  • Outside distraction: From a billboard to a pedestrian, outside distractions are likely to come into play. Don't let your eyes wander toward anything that takes your attention away from the task at hand.

How to spot a drunk (and dangerous) driver

Even though you understand the importance of avoiding drinking and driving, there will always be people who break the law. They get behind the wheel after drinking too much, putting themselves and everyone else at risk of an accident.

There are many signs that a person may be driving intoxicated, including the following:

  • Swerving or drifting out of their lane
  • Sudden turns
  • Driving the wrong way on a one-way street
  • Erratic braking and/or acceleration
  • Striking objects, such as parked vehicles or traffic signs
  • Failure to respond at a traffic signal
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road

Conviction reversed based on self-defense argument

Some alleged crimes are incidents with a better explanation than first meets the eye. This is why the criminal justice system is based on two sides representing different views of events. At times, legal decisions are shown to be wrong and the wrong people will have paid the price.

A 26-year-old woman in Detroit was successful in her appeal against multiple felony convictions. She was charged after an incident in which she apparently brandished a registered and unloaded firearm to defend herself and her family from an attack. She was sentenced to two years in prison despite a self-defense plea.

What are the biggest dangers of fall driving?

As a Michigan resident, you know that the fall season will bring a variety of weather conditions to the area. While taking in the natural beauty of fall, it's critical to keep your safety in mind at all times. This is particularly true when driving.

Here are four of the top dangers associated with fall driving:

  • Rain: The fall months are often quite rainy, which makes it more dangerous to drive. When the rain begins to fall, slow down, turn your headlights on to ensure that you reach your destination safely.
  • Back-to-school traffic: Not only does this mean additional vehicles on the road, but you must also contend with children in close proximity to the roads.
  • Deer: It's difficult to avoid run-ins with wildlife, as you never know when an animal will leap out in front of your vehicle. Deer, in particular, are extremely active during the fall months.
  • Leaves: Leaves have the potential to become matted to the roads in wet conditions. If you hit wet leaves at a high rate of speed, there's a chance you could lose control of your vehicle.

Important facts about white-collar crime in Michigan

An accusation of white-collar crime is serious business. Due to their usually non-violent nature, some people may not realize the gravity of white-collar charges.

Those who face such criminal charges may have to endure hefty penalties. To create a proper defense in such instances, it is important to understand a few key facts about these crimes.

Plan what you’ll tell your children about your divorce

If you and your spouse decide to divorce, it's important to turn your immediate attention to your children. Regardless of their age, your divorce will impact them in a variety of ways.

When the time comes to tell your children about your divorce, there are several steps you can take to ease the tension and start the healing process. It all starts with planning what you want to say. Here are some ways to approach the subject:

  • Explain that you are going through a difficult time, and things aren't working out in your marriage.
  • Tell your children that both you and your spouse love them, and that this won't change as the result of your divorce.
  • Let your children know that your divorce has nothing to do with them.
  • Tell your children that you'll do whatever it takes to provide a stable family environment in the future.
  • Explain that divorce doesn't mean that you won't be a family in the future.
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