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Jennifer Paine Blogs About Michigan’s Auto No Fault Law and Divorce

Cordell & Cordell Attorney Jennifer PaineCordell & Cordell Michigan divorce attorney Jennifer M. Paine authored a guest blog on a family law attorney’s perspective on Michigan’s auto “No Fault” law for MichiganAutoLaw.com.

Specifically, Ms. Paine writes about the issue of No Fault benefits for children of divorced parents and whose auto insurance policy covers an injured child after a car accident.

“For family law attorneys, no fault automobile insurance law is just one of many areas that we must take into consideration in crafting our settlement agreements and preparing for trial – but, it is an ever increasingly important one,” Ms. Paine writes.

For more information on this often confusing issue of the intersection between Michigan’s No Fault laws and what happens after a divorce, please read Ms. Paine’s article, “An experienced family law attorney’s perspective on Michigan’s auto No Fault law.”

You can also read a related article, “Who pays for No Fault benefits for minor children of divorced parents injured in a car accident?” authored by Steven Gursten.

Sticking together for the children may not be the best option

Although some couples who are trapped in a loveless marriage may think that sticking together is what is best for their children, the opposite can actually be true.

According to the Muskegon Chronicle, children are more perceptive than we often give them credit for, and can tell when a situation is deteriorating.

“If the relationship is so unhealthy … it’s not a good situation for the children,” Susan P. Johnson, chief executive of Every Woman’s Place in Muskegon, said. “We have a tendency to think kids somehow through their immaturity don’t understand that something’s going on. There’s a ton of research that shows that’s not the case.”

Although the statistics point to many marriages in Muskegon County ending earlier than in previous generations, Johnson noted that this was because couples in the 1960s did not have the resources or knowledge to divorce when things reached a breaking point, the news source reported.

The Day reported that children may be better off with parents who split instead of staying together despite many differences, as they will benefit from a more positive environment and less stress.

Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee proposes involving government in marriage process

The Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee recently took up legislation that supporters note may change the institution of marriage in the state, MLive reported.

According to the news source, the Senate panel introduced legislation that would extend the waiting period to get married from three to 28 days if the applicants do not complete a premarital education class.

“This is definitely crossing a line of what government should be involved in,” Shelly Weisberg, of the ACLU Michigan, told MLive. “Who’s to say what makes a good marriage for two people?”

Along with the legislation that extends the waiting period, a bill was introduced that makes it harder for individuals in the state to get divorced. Couples would have to complete a questionnaire and an ominous-sounding “divorce effects” program before dissolving the union if they have kids, according to the news source.

The Michigan Messenger reported that this allegedly conservative committee was trying to pass the legislation in an effort to deter people from getting divorced.

“We are a pro-divorce society,” James Sheridan, a judge on the committee, told MLive. “We need to be a pro-marriage society.”

Michigan Supreme Court targets child support flaws

The Michigan Supreme Court will work to examine potential flaws in the state’s child support system following three cases that were presented to the legislative body on Oct. 6, The Detroit News reported.

Several Michigan parents argued they were unfairly sentenced because the courts will not allow evidence showing that it was impossible for them to pay child support, according to the news source.

The cases were targeted at the difficult standards that are in place for parents that have their child support payments modified, as the lawyers noted that these were next-to-impossible to reach under the current law.

“You have to be in a coma or kidnapped by Afghani terrorists,” John Bursch, solicitor general for Michigan, told the news source after defending a client against the high standard of proof. “(Defendants) have an extremely high burden of proof.”

While this case was specifically centered around a woman who was charged with exorbitant fees despite her financial situation reported mental instability, a majority of these incidents feature men. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that men are granted custody in only 17.4 percent of cases and thus pay the vast majority of child support.

Michigan lawmakers re-examine paternity laws

A Michigan man is awaiting the outcome of legislation in the state that would help him get to see his five-year-old daughter.

The Flint Journal reports that a Michigan law from 1956 assumes that a child’s father is the man married to the woman at the time of birth. This law has prevented Daniel Quinn from seeing the daughter he had with Candace Beckwith.

According to the news source, Quinn and Beckwith had a child while the latter was separated from her husband. Beckwith and her husband got back together and then moved to Kentucky, restricting Quinn’s time with the child, who he raised for the first two-and-a-half years of her life.

The package of bills made it through a state senate committee and now waits for action from the full House and Senate.

State Sen. John Gleason said that the bill would give parents a chance to be a part of their child’s lives.

“We want for him and others in the future that they will have the ability to share their lives with their children,” he told the news source.

Daniel told NBC 25 that at least 13 other states have similar laws to the one he is attempting to overturn in Michigan.