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May 2011 Archives

No Bullies Bill

The Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee has recommended consideration of Senate Bill 137, "Matt's Safe School Law," named after Matt Epling, a 14-year-old student who killed himself after a hazing incident in 2002. If passed, the bill would require school districts to implement anti-bullying policies. The bill has been widely approved by school superintendents' groups, principals' groups and the Michigan Education Association.

We all know that children change substantially as they get older, enter teenage years, etc. Sometimes the changes seem drastic to a parent, yet are those changes sufficient to meet the legal threshold for reviewing a custody order? The Court of Appeals has firmly answered "no."

Tags: custody

Equal Child Custody for Divorced Parents: The Public Speaks

In Michigan and beyond, divorcing parents must solve difficult questions about who has custody of the children - not just where the kids live, but how often they switch locations, who makes important decisions about their health and well-being, and what to do during important holidays.

Domestic Violence in the Courtroom

According to a recent article in the American Bar Journal, 28-year-old Paul Henry Gonzalez Jr. assaulted his 23-year-old wife Catherine after a judge ordered him to pay child support and set visitation terms. He came up behind her in a Florida judge's chambers and attacked her, giving her two black eyes, broken facial bones and a bloody lip. Catherine's lawyer restrained the man until deputies could get there. Law enforcement used a stun gun to subdue him. He is now jailed in lieu of $1 million bond on a felony battery charge.

Rural Divorce Rate Increasing in Michigan and Elsewhere

A recent New York Times article exposed one important trend revealed by recent U.S. census data: the difference in divorce rates between rural and urban America has essentially disappeared. In 1970, the number of divorced individuals per 1,000 married people was considerable higher in metro areas (nearly 60 per 1,000) than non-metro areas (just over 40 per 1,000). Data from 2009 show for the first time that those numbers are equal, and the rate has exceeded 200 divorcees per 1,000 married individuals nationwide.

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