Creighton McLean & Shea PLC

Livonia Family Legal Blog

How can you collect past due child support?

At times, getting a child support case settled is only half the battle. Sometimes the parent who's ordered to pay support doesn't do so in full and on time.

So, what do you do if your child's other parent is reluctant to meet their financial obligation?

What do you do with your estate documents?

You've been smart and you're prepared -- you've been to an attorney and have your estate plans drawn up, including a will and powers of attorney for financial matters and health care.

Now, what do you do with all the paperwork? You want to keep things secure -- but you also want to make sure that your heirs have access to whatever they need to handle your final affairs.

Know what to do if you suspect 'undue influence' on an estate

Here's the sort of shocker that many people experience after a loved one dies: The will, which once divided everything fairly among the heirs, somehow became slanted to heavily favor just one relative. Maybe everyone else is even completely cut out of the new will. Perhaps all the relatives are cut out and suddenly a "dear friend" now stands to inherit the deceased's entire estate.

It happens more often than people realize. Quite often, it has to do with something called "undue influence" over the deceased prior to their death.

Divorce on friendly terms: Keeping things civil

When you and your spouse began to discuss divorce, you were past the stage of being angry with one another. You simply grew apart, and over the last several months, you've been living your own lives. Yes, you lived in the same home and had a routine that showed you as a combined force for your kids, but neither of you was invested in your relationship romantically.

Now that you're preparing to divorce, you want to continue to keep things civil. It is your hope that doing so will make your divorce easier on your children, since you both already feel that it will make your lives easier. How can you get through disputes that might arise and keep the situation peaceful for your children?

Michigan dedicates August to child support awareness

August is now Child Support Month in Michigan, thanks to the declaration by Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Why give official month-long recognition to something that happens every day? It's because there are a lot of people involved in making the state's child support system work.

How on earth can the average divorce cost $15,000?

These days, everyone knows that a wedding with all of the trimmings can be costly -- but did you know that the average American divorce runs about $15,000?

How on earth can a divorce be that expensive? Let's take a look at one woman's experience with divorce to see how her total tab went even higher. Here are some of the key takeaways from her divorce:

  1. She and her spouse didn't have children. Consequently, she assumed that their divorce would be less costly than average. Child custody and support are often two of the hardest-fought issues in a divorce involving children and can drastically raise the expenses associated with a marital split.
  2. The marriage had been short -- only eight months -- when they decided to end it. They had little financial means or assets.

A 'To-Do' list for your estate plans: 5 steps to take

Has it been a while since you've reviewed your estate plans? Did you get your plans drawn up a decade ago, throw the paperwork in a drawer and forget about it?

That's a mistake. Estate plans have to be revisited from time to time to make sure that they still accomplish the things you want them to do. If it has been a while since you've reviewed your estate plans, grab your journal or calendar and put the following tasks on your "To-Do" list right away:

Imprisoned parents and child support obligations

Just about anybody can make a mistake that lands them in prison. In fact, some people end up behind bars through no fault of their own.

If you're in jail, you obviously can't work. If you can't work, you may not be able to pay your child support. Logically, since the government is aware of both situations, you'd think that there would be some sort of automatic procedure in place that halts your child support obligation until you're out of jail.

Drunk driving disaster: What to do when you're caught

The majority of people know that you can get in trouble for drinking and driving. What many don't realize is that you don't necessarily have to have a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher to end up with a charge. Driving recklessly, showing signs of intoxication and other driving mistakes can add up and make an officer believe that a DUI is exactly what took place.

The good news is that people who are accused of drinking and driving have the opportunity to fight those charges. If you are arrested, keep these things in mind to protect yourself.

Handwritten wills create problems for Aretha Franklin's estate

When the legendary singer Aretha Franklin died, she left behind no will to control her estate -- or so everyone thought.

Now, three handwritten wills by the late singer have surfaced in her Detroit home -- including one found tucked under the couch cushions in her living room. The most recent of the three is dated March 2014 and is difficult to read, with notes in the margins and items scratched out. Two other wills, both from 2010, were found in a locked cabinet. Her longtime attorney has stated in court that he's not sure if the wills are actually legal under Michigan law.


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Livonia, MI 48154

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