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Macomb County Law Blog

How are the best interests of the children determined?

There are many parents in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, who no longer live with the other parent of their children. However, living away from their former partner does not mean that they want to live away from their children, with whom they want to maintain a positive ongoing relationship.

That results in child custody disputes. Ideally, both parents will set aside their differences with each other and focus on the best interests of the children.

Do used cars increase accident risks?

Not everyone can afford to head to the dealership and buy the brand new car of his or her dreams. Even those who can technically afford it still often shop for used cars because they know how much the value drops as soon as someone drives a car off of the lot. They want those savings.

While saving money makes sense on numerous levels, are these people inadvertently putting others in danger? Do these used cars come with problems and defects that could cause accidents?

What you post on social media could tank your criminal case

Sharing every thought, event and emotion that you experience online on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and other social media outlets may seem like the cool thing to do. Unfortunately, if you have pending criminal charges in the St. Clair Shores area, you might want to start restricting your online activities. 

What you post online is likely to become immortalized if someone takes screenshots and shares it. Activities that law enforcement perceives as cyberbullying and stalking on social media could result in additional criminal charges. Social media is one of many sources law enforcement checks for evidence in criminal investigations. Here is some information for you to consider to prevent a negative outcome. 

Why prenuptial agreements are good things

Prenuptial agreements used to be something only the rich and famous felt they needed. Nobody else every figured they had that much worth fighting about.

These days, however, a lot of people -- even Millennials -- are going into marriage with more than just a few nickles to rub together. Some have inherited wealth. Others have businesses that they've started from scratch -- and want to retain if they happen to get divorce. Some only have a few things that are important but the sentimental nature of those things makes their owners protective. A prenuptial agreement that just covers personal affects could protect, for example, your grandmother's engagement ring if you give it to your spouse but the marriage falls apart. With the right agreement, you can be sure that your spouse will give it back during the divorce.

Should the law consider local court costs 'illegal taxes?'

Nobody likes to go to court for a criminal matter, and more importantly, nobody likes to be convicted. Then, to add insult to injury, most criminal courts will levy exorbitant court costs against the defendants they convict. Unfortunately, most low-income criminal defendants can't afford to pay these costs, and the money owed can cause problems for defendants later on down the road -- even resulting in further jail time.

Nevertheless, the law is the law, and if we've been convicted of a crime, we have to pay, right? Maybe not. According recent Michigan Supreme Court case, it's possible that imposing court costs on criminal defendants is unlawful.

Be constructive when making summer parenting arrangements

When St. Clair Shores, Michigan, parents of young children separate, they need to make parenting arrangements for those young children. That takes the form of a child custody agreement. Sometimes, the parents are insufficiently mature to come to an arrangement that gives them both ample parenting time in the best interests of the children, who love and need both of their parents. Other times, however, the parents are able to conduct themselves responsibly and put together good arrangements for the sake of their daughters and sons.

One aspect of a good parenting arrangement involves determining where the children will be during the summer. It is a unique time of year, when the children are not in school, and therefore, don't need to be near their school. Correspondingly, the door is open to a lot of possibilities. For example, the children may spend the entire summer with the parent they spend less time with during the school year. On the other hand, if the parents share custody pretty equally during the school year, they may want to do it in the summer as well.

What are the benefits of a plea bargain?

A plea bargain is when you agree to plead guilty to a certain charge in exchange for a lighter sentence and/or having other charges dropped.

The downside, of course, is that pleading guilty means you are convicted of a crime. You don't get to fight the charges with a chance to win. So what are the benefits? A few of them include:

  • You get that lighter sentence: For instance, you may have been facing 20 years if you were convicted in court. The plea bargain drops it to a lesser charge that only carries a sentence of five years. You are going to jail, but you get to control how long you'll stay.
  • You get some certainty: You don't leave anything up to chance. You don't have to worry about what the jury will think. You know exactly what you're agreeing to when you do it.
  • You can sometimes get stigmatizing charges dropped: For instance, having a felony on your record can haunt you long after you get out of jail, making it hard to get a job. Your plea bargain may only force you to accept a misdemeanor.
  • Your case will move more quickly: A full trial can take time. The plea bargain speeds things up. You can work toward overcoming this hurdle and moving on with your life.

4 tips for divorce-proofing your company

It can happen to anyone. While an entrepreneur is building a new business, a marriage falls apart. If you are in this situation, you must take some steps to protect your company. Otherwise, you may find yourself battling to keep your business from being sold or your ex ending up as your business partner.

Is your marriage heading for a split? Here are some strategies to preserve your company in the event of a divorce.

Divorce involves dividing retirement plans

When love blossoms, St. Clair Shores, Michigan, couples race towards marriage. When love withers, those couples race towards divorce. In the latter case, the couples are less concerned with each other's welfare and more concerned with taking care of their own, expressing their concern in the form of pursuing marital assets. Those assets can include retirement plans, which often need to be approached in a special way, using something called a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO).

A QDRO, which is a special type of order, is a way to address the division of certain types of retirement plans, such as 403(b) and qualified plans like 401(k) s. The order transfers part of an employer-sponsored retirement plan's benefits to a person other than the employee they were originally intended for. The other person, referred to as an alternate payee, is typically the ex of the employee.

Speed presumed cause of fatal accident

Some of the roads in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, are in need of repair, and unfortunately, the money necessary to take care of them often gets misdirected elsewhere. As a result, some car crashes happen as a direct result of problems like potholes. That was looked into as a possibility in a recent accident.

In that accident, a car crashed straight into a light pole on the city's west side. The crash, according to a spokeswoman for the Detroit Police Department, left the passenger dead. That passenger was a 22-year-old man. He died due to injuries suffered when the 2012 gray Ford Focus he was in, driven by a 22-year-old woman, slammed into the light pole. Although he was transported by emergency personnel to a local hospital, it was too late to save his life, and he died there. The driver was hospitalized and was reportedly in temporary serious condition.

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