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One Court of Justice Blog

Feb 2017
February 02, 2017

COA: Prenups cannot deprive court’s ability to divide property in a divorce

Parties cannot waive, in an antenuptial agreement, the statutory authority of a court to invade a party’s separate estate when ordering a property division in a divorce, said the Michigan Court of Appeals on remand in Allard v. Allard, No. 308194. Provisions of Michigan’s divorce statute, according to the court, clearly demonstrate that the Legislature intends circuit courts to have discretion to allocate separate assets if doing so is necessary to achieve equity. Any agreement that attempts to bind that equitable authority of the court is necessarily void as against both statute and public policy.

Jan 2017
January 30, 2017

COA rules trial court must make initial child custody finding before referring to friend of the court for investigation

In Bowling v. McCarrick, No. 331583, the Court of Appeals held the trial court erred when it referred a child-custody matter to the Friend of the Court for conciliation before it had made a determination regarding whether the party requesting a change in custody had met his burden of proving either proper cause or change of circumstances.  The trial court improperly relied upon the Friend of the Court’s report in determining whether there was proper cause.  Because Michigan statute requires the court to make this determination before ordering the Friend of the Court to investigate, the Court of Appeals vacated the trial court order and remanded to the trial court for further proceedings. 

Sep 2016
September 15, 2016

COA: Foster care is not a requirement for termination of parental rights

In In re Medina Minor, No. 328952, the Court of Appeals affirmed a probate court’s order terminating the parental rights of a father to his son, finding that the probate court's authority to conduct termination proceedings is not limited to a situation where the child is in foster care.

Aug 2016
August 29, 2016

COA holds that order denying a motion to change schools is not an order affecting the custody of a minor

In Ozimek v. Rodgers, No. 331726, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that an order denying a motion to change schools is not an order affecting the custody of a child under the Michigan Court Rule regarding jurisdiction, MCR 7.202(6)(a)(iii).  Therefore, in this case, the Court did not have jurisdiction over plaintiff’s appeal.

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