Limited Scope Representation Makes Sense in Michigan

It’s the right time for Limited Scope Representation in Michigan Currently, Michigan Legal Ethics standards do not allow attorneys to represent clients for parts of their cases. In other states, Limited Scope Representation enables clients to get help with just certain parts of their legal matters. For instance, in Missouri, a potential client could handle most of the document filing themselves and only work with an attorney for court appearances. According to the Missouri Lawyers Help article, 7 Things you should know about Limited Scope Representation, “LSR is an efficient way for clients who cannot afford the cost of hiring Continue Reading…

Proposed Changes to Michigan Child Custody

A look at Michigan House Bill 4691 The Michigan House Bill 4691, proposing changes to the Child Custody Act of 1970, was introduced on May 31, 2017 and has been referred to the Committee on Judiciary. (Citations below show proposed changes indicated by strikethroughs and the suggested language amendments in bold, all-caps.) The latest proposed changes to the Michigan child custody laws include the very title of the act. According to Michigan House Bill 4691 introduced by Reps. Runestad, Kelly, VanSingel, Lucido, Hauck, Cole and Tedder reads, “Sec. 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the Continue Reading…

Post Nuptials May Save Marriages

    When addiction threatens marriages, post nuptials may be the answer Divorce Attorney Kathryn Wayne-Spindler shares how post nuptials may save marriages plagued by addiction. She explains that many people in a relationship with someone burdened with addiction, don’t want to get divorced but feel pressured into it to protect their finances. Some clients want to stay with a spouse who struggles with addiction so they can support him/her. But they worry that the addict may make choices that impact their shared income or savings. With a post nuptial agreement, the supportive spouse may be able to protect the retirement funds Continue Reading…

Top 6 Frequently Asked Legal Questions Answered

I hear a vast variety of legal questions during my free family law consultations with potential clients. Some are individual, but some seem to follow reoccurring themes. The following are the top 6 frequently asked legal questions answered in a blog: Are you a Tiger? Other variations on this question include, “Are you aggressive?” And “Are you a Warrior Lawyer?” The gist is that people tend to want a fighter on their side. When they are feeling uncertain and vulnerable in the face of a new and contentious legal situation, they want someone who is able to fight for them. Continue Reading…

Does Fault Matter?

A recent Institute of Continuing Legal Education seminar titled, “Fault: Does it Ever Really Matter?” by Jade J. Edwards reviews the aspects of a divorce that can be influenced by determining fault. In the ICLE materials, Edwards wrote, “Michigan is a “no fault” divorce state. This simply means that a party can get a divorce regardless of fault. However, this does not mean that fault doesn’t matter at all.” Does Fault Matter in Child Custody? The primary premise of child custody and visitation is to provide for the best interests of the child after divorce. It is further assumed, unless Continue Reading…

Domestic Violence Screening Essential Before Mediation

Mediation is only safe and successful when both parties are capable of freely expressing their requirements. If one party is being abused, the mediation may be at best, unfair and at worst, unsafe. That’s why it’s crucial that attorneys and mediators follow the requirements for domestic violence screening  before proceeding with mediation. Experienced Highland Family Law Mediator Kathryn Wayne-Spindler recently attended an ICLE (Institute of Continuing Legal Education) Family Law Seminar regarding Michigan domestic violence screening procedures. The session, “Screening for Domestic Violence in Mediation” was presented by Lore A. Rogers of the Michigan Domestic & Sexual Violence Prevention & Continue Reading…

Should you hug your family law attorney?

To Hug? Or Not to Hug your family law attorney? That is the question. On the one hand, a family law attorney is a seasoned professional. Someone who went to years of post-graduate school, passed the bar exam and endured years of grueling training. This person is most likely driven, competitive, professional, impressive (possibly even intimidating) and confident. When you hire an attorney, you expect them to be competent and assertive. Some attorneys would be offended at the informality of hugging – or at the very least, the assumption that all women attorneys are huggers. Female attorney, Deanne M. Koll Continue Reading…

Ask An Attorney: Separation vs Divorce

Experienced Wayne County Family Law Attorney Kathryn Wayne-Spindler recently answered a question in the West Oakland CountySpinal Column Newsweekly regarding the benefits of Legal Separation for some couples. In a few situations, separation may be more advantageous for some “Silver” spouses than divorce. Check out her Spinal Column response in the article pictured here: Kathryn Wayne-Spindler can help determine if separation is right for you If you are considering Separation vs Divorce, contact Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates for a free consultation at 248-676-1000. The office is conveniently located in Milford, Michigan. The firm handles  separations, divorces, custody and support cases throughout Continue Reading…

Drug abuse: 5 things I wish my family law clients knew

Dear Drug or Alcohol Abuser, I’ve been a family law attorney for more than 20 years now and I have seen families ripped apart by alcohol and drug abuse. I’ve also witnessed the positive, reaffirming and heartwarming tales of parents reunited with children after a scary bout with addiction. The path of alcohol and drug use->abuse->addiction-> ruin is not a certain one. Clients have recovered. So whether drug abuse or alcohol abuse is the primary source of legal trouble or compounding it, there are five items I wish my family law clients knew about drug abuse and testing that can prevent a bad Continue Reading…

Cohabitation Rates on the Rise

Are cohabitating couples covered legally? National and Michigan cohabitation rates are up in recent years. Way up. In fact, the number of non-married couples living together in 2010 is almost double the rate of 2000. The related graphic shows that almost 8 million heterosexual couples nationwide were cohabitating in 2010. That’s not even taking into account the same-sex couples that did not have the legal option to marry at that time. Cohabitation Rates Increase These statistics were cited in a recent Continuing Education Seminar for Family Law Attorneys titled, “The Changing Face of Today’s Family and Its Impact on Family Law,” Continue Reading…