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Macomb County Law Blog

Finances often drive couples to do things together after divorce

When most couples get divorced, that's the end of their time together. Yes, they still see each other when they exchange the kids in accordance with the custody plan, but they move on. They get new homes. They date new people. Life moves forward.

For some, though, life stays intertwined. They keep on living together, in the same home. One couple even opted to go on a family vacation together. If they were so keen on ending the marriage, why would they do this?

What are the 7 steps you need to take after an accident?

Accidents happen so fast that you never have any idea what's coming. One moment you're listening to a podcast and driving calmly through an intersection with a green light. The next minute, you're pulling yourself out of a totaled car on the side of the road.

Now what? It is very easy to forget what to do in a chaotic situation like this, something you may not have prepared for and may never have been through before. Below are seven important steps to take if you are involved in a car crash:

  1. Check to see if anyone got hurt. Make sure you are all right and that everyone else is fine. If not, seek medical attention. Prioritize this over everything else.
  2. Pull the car to the side of the road and out of traffic, if possible.
  3. Get in touch with the authorities. Call 911 if they are not already on the scene.
  4. Document the scene. Take pictures, write down what happened and take videos on your phone. If you have a dash camera, save the video of the crash.
  5. Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver.
  6. Never say that the crash was your fault. Even while talking to the other driver, though asking if he or she got hurt is fine, never say the wreck was your fault. Even if you think it was, there could be factors you are overlooking, like roadway design defects or automotive defects.

Will a divorce when your child is in college hurt the child?

It may seem as if there is never a good time for your divorce. For instance, perhaps you were almost ready three years ago, but your mother came down with serious health problems. You had to care for her. Meanwhile, your oldest child started college. Your mother has recovered, but with your child in college, is divorce a good idea? After all, both parents have to cut back on financial expenses.

The answer: A divorce when your child is in college is not necessarily harmful. A lot depends on your situation.

4 ways the marijuana ban is similar to Prohibition

Right now, recreational marijuana use is still illegal in Michigan. As you may know, voters will have the chance to legalize it in November, but they have not done so yet.

It is interesting to look at the marijuana ban through the lens of alcohol prohibition. After all, Prohibition is now considered a failure. As more states legalize marijuana, there are four key similarities to think about:

Do not use your kids in a power struggle with your ex

Your children need to come first if you get a divorce. They are not pawns. They should never be used during any emotional power struggles between you and your ex.

This can happen overtly or subtly. In some cases, parents intentionally try to turn their kids against their exes, often by insulting them or even lying to the children. When two adults do not get along, they may both want the kids to take their side. This puts the children in a truly difficult position; they deserve a healthy relationship with both parents.

You can still connect with your children after a divorce

You worry that you will not have the same connection with your children after you and your spouse get divorced. You're more concerned about that than losing assets or even the end of your marriage itself.

There is good news. You can still connect with your kids in the wake of the split. You just need to be intentional about it. Below are a few things you can do:

  1. Pursue your children. Prioritize that relationship. Even when it cuts into your personal time, put them first.
  2. Find ways to stay connected even when you are not physically together. Write letters. Chat online. Call them up after school. Use FaceTime or Skype to chat on video.
  3. Embrace their interests. Show them that you care and spend time doing things that they love. Perhaps your son plays football or your daughter loves going hiking. Go to every football game. Take your daughter hiking and camping on the weekends. Do not worry about what you want to do.
  4. Remember that you'll see them less, so you need to make the most of every day with them. Do not waste your time. Engage with them, play with them and spend your time doing more than just having them watch TV while you do your own thing.
  5. Never insult your ex. That person is still their father or mother. Remember that their relationship is important. No matter how you feel, always be respectful.

Distractions do not solve marital problems

Couples with significant marital problems often seek out distractions to try to keep from discussing them. This is especially true when one of their problems is that they do not communicate very well in the first place.

Maybe they start engrossing themselves in hobbies on their own, such as reading books or playing video games. Maybe they "spend time together," but all they really do is watch TV. Being able to focus on the show together means they do not actually have to have a conversation.

How to fight false accusations of domestic violence in a divorce

It is normal for a divorce to be complex and stressful, but it is even worse when a protection order gets thrown into the mix. If you are facing false allegations of domestic abuse from your spouse, you may not be able to contact your children or stay in the family home. Approximately 70 percent of domestic abuse accusations during divorce are false.

Facing accusations of violence may significantly impact your ability to get child custody. So how do you react to a restraining order or even criminal charges? Here are some key guidelines. 

What are some reasons for supervised visitation?

Supervised visitation means that while you still do get to see your child, you do not get to do so alone. A third party must be with you through the entire visit. Sometimes, this is your ex, but it could also be a social worker.

Reasons that you may be ordered to use supervised visitation include:

  • You physically abused a family member in the past and there is proof.
  • You have a history of alcohol and drug abuse.
  • The court is worried that you may try to abduct your own child.
  • You have a mental illness that has been diagnosed by a medical professional.
  • Emotional abuse has occurred in the past and there is proof.
  • Your child has asked for supervised visitation. This usually only happens with older children who may make the request if they do not feel fully safe, even if the court lacks other reasons to mandate supervised visitation. The child's best interests always come first.
  • The living environment the child encounters during visits is not optimal and may present safety hazards.
  • The court is concerned about other people -- those you live with, for instance -- that the child may come into contact with during a visit.
  • You served time in jail in the past or otherwise have a criminal record that is a red flag to the court.

4 frightening statistics about fatigued driving

Driving while you're overly fatigued is a recipe for disaster. Many people think of truckers first when considering drowsy driving; after all, they're on the road constantly for work, putting in long hours. However, the reality is that anyone who drives while tired is a potential risk, whether it's the office worker commuting to the suburbs, the college student driving home after class or the exhausted worker who dragged himself or herself out of bed to head in for the day.

Here are four statistics from the National Sleep Foundation that help to paint a clear picture of how common drowsy driving really is:

  • 4 percent of those asked said that they fell asleep behind the wheel and caused a car accident. While 4 percent sounds small, you have to remember that the United States has over 325 million people.
  • 13 percent of people admitted that nodding off while driving was a chronic condition, claiming it happened to them once a month at minimum. It is stunning to think how many people repeatedly put others at risk.
  • 37 percent of respondents said they had nodded off while driving at least once in their lives. It may never have happened again, but one out of three drivers has done it.
  • 60 percent of those who answered the poll claimed they had driven when they felt tired. Maybe they did not fall asleep, but it could still impact awareness and reaction times.
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