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Should Texting to Someone Driving a Car be Criminalized?

These days it is nearly universal that texting while driving is a violation of the motor vehicle code, or at least a local ordinance, in the jurisdiction through which you are passing.  Now, some law makers are considering whether a person that texts to someone they know is driving should be proscribed conduct as well. […]

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Where's the Body? Prosecuting the "No Body" Case

Career Prosecutor Donna Pendergast By Donna Pendergast The Corpus Delicti rule mandates that a prosecutor prove that a crime has been committed before a person can be convicted of committing a crime. A dead body is a critical component and establishes the corpus delicti of a murder case.  However, successful prosecutions have occurred where there […]

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Will my case settle or will we have to go to trial?

The overwhelming majority of divorces settle prior to trial. In fact, the courtroom is often the least appropriate forum in which to publicly air the sensitive personal issues that are involved in any divorce. In rare cases, however, a judge is called upon to determine the issues that cannot be resolved through negotiation between the […]

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What role will the Friend of the Court have in my divorce?

The Friend of the Court (FOC) is usually only involved in divorces involving minor children or in paternity cases. Sometimes, however, even a divorce that does not involve children will proceed through the FOC. Family Court judges have the authority under the Michigan Court Rules to refer any matter to a Referee. Each divorce or […]

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Custody and Frequency of Parenting Time

My spouse is a real jerk and I want custody of our children. How can I be sure that I am awarded custody? And can I limit the frequency of my spouse’s parenting time? Custody is determined on a case-by-case basis in Michigan. The court will award custody according to the “best interests” of the […]

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Separate Legal Counsel?

My spouse and I have a simple marital estate and have agreed on the terms of our divorce. Do we really need to hire separate legal counsel? It is always best to have independent legal counsel when preparing to file for divorce or at least prior to agreeing to the entry of a consent judgment […]

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Dating During Divorce

May I date during the divorce process? Also, what about the money I chose to spend on dating and/or a lover? In modern times, it seems that the courts in Michigan are less concerned with your private life than they once were. There are, however, some warnings you must heed in the area of dating […]

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Counseling and Confidentiality

If I go to counseling, are my conversations with the counselor confidential? Generally, your communications with a physician or therapist are protected by the doctor – patient privilege. In some cases, however, a party waives this privilege by consenting to disclosure of medical records or by placing his or her treatment into issue in the […]

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Custody and Support

If I am awarded custody of my children, how much will my spouse have to pay in child support and when can I expect to begin receiving this support? Child support is awarded on a temporary basis when the parties have separated and one of the parties has primary physical custody of the children. Support […]

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How much will my divorce cost?

It is impossible to predict the total cost of your divorce because it depends on several factors. The most important of these is the reasonableness of the parties and the respective attorneys. In a true “pro-confesso” divorce (meaning there are no disputed issues and the parties agree on every aspect of the divorce in the […]

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