How to Notarize Documents During a Pandemic Like COVID-19

Update 10/8/20 - In light of Midwest Inst of Health, PLLC v Governor of Michigan (In re Certified Questions from the United States Distr Court) Oct 2, 2020, recent updates to attorney resources (i.e., ICLE) recommend immediately stopping the use of the governor’s emergency executive orders to remotely witness and remotely notarize documents. Hopefully the legislature will ratify acts of remote witnessing and expanded remote notarization that occurred under the executive orders and allow for the continued use of remote witnessing and expanded remote notarization in Michigan. However, until then, the best practice would be to revert to the pre-executive orders requirements. One of the things t

What to do if you are in Harm’s Way in your Own Home During the Pandemic

If you or someone you love is in danger of immediate harm in your own home, your first option is to find a location in your home away from the individual threatening you. If a location outside of the home is the only available option, go outside. After finding a safe location, call the local police whether that is the city, county, or state police. Make sure to follow the directions the dispatch operator provides on the best way the police can assist you. Many resources continue to be open during the pandemic. Most have moved away from face to face contact, but resources such as Women’s Resource Center http://www.womensresourcecenter.org/ and Safe Harbor https://www.gtsafeharbor.org/ are sti

Child Custody, Child Support, and Parenting Time Issues During COVID-19

The COVID-19 virus has presented issues that impact numerous aspects of our lives. As family law attorneys, our focus is how practical implications and legislation impact custody, parenting time, and child support issues faced by people across Michigan. This week, we’ll examine child support modifications during the shutdown, which were presented in the webinar, Child Support Modifications During the Shutdown, hosted by attorney Liisa Speaker. In addition to the safety and security of loved ones during this unprecedented time, the financial impact on families across the world has created many issues. In the context of family law, thousands of parents across Michigan are subject to Uniform Ch

Temporary Use of Video Conferencing to Notarize Documents During COVID-19

Update 10/8/20 - In light of Midwest Inst of Health, PLLC v Governor of Michigan (In re Certified Questions from the United States Distr Court) Oct 2, 2020, recent updates to attorney resources (i.e., ICLE) recommend immediately stopping the use of the governor’s emergency executive orders to remotely witness and remotely notarize documents. Hopefully the legislature will ratify acts of remote witnessing and expanded remote notarization that occurred under the executive orders and allow for the continued use of remote witnessing and expanded remote notarization in Michigan. However, until then, the best practice would be to revert to the pre-executive orders requirements. On Wednesday April

How COVID 19 is Changing Family Law

The COVID-19 virus has presented myriad issues that impact numerous aspects of our lives. As family law attorneys, our focus is how practical implications and legislation impact custody, parenting time, and child support issues faced by people across Michigan. For context, it’s important to examine the terms of the executive orders signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer that touch on custody and parenting time. Pursuant to Executive Order 2020-21, also known as the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order, Governor Whitmer placed restrictions on work, travel, and social gatherings. In respect to our concerns as family law attorneys, the order allows exceptions for individuals to travel “[a]s required by la

When Can Parenting Time Be Denied?

Very often situations arise when a parent wonders whether they are excused from following the parenting time order and deny parenting time to the other parent. As with most questions in family law matters, the answer is: it depends on the details of the situation and the family. However, parents can use the following examples provided by the Friend of the Court of explanations for denied parenting time which are generally not acceptable to the court: 1. The child refuses to go; 2. The parent did not want the child to go; 3. The co-parent is behind in child support payments; 4. The child had a minor illness; 5. The child had to go someplace else; 6. The child was not home; 7. Preconditions, n

Denial of Parenting Time in the Time of COVID 19

When Michigan’s Governor issued an order to stay home, some parents understood that to mean children should stay put at one parent’s house, not transferring the children between the parents households for parenting time. In response, the Michigan Supreme Court issued an order clearly reminding parents that all court orders for a child’s custody, parenting time, and support are still in force, only a new court order can change that, so parents should continue to follow their court order. However, parents should also follow government orders that restrict travel and should cooperate with each other to follow those restrictions while keeping the child’s access to both parents as close to the no

Steve Paciorka

Our associate attorney Steve Paciorka has resigned from Sterling Law and accepted a position as Referee with the 13th Circuit Court. We’re honored that now two attorneys who have been employed with Sterling Law have been chosen for referee positions. We will truly miss Steve as he has been an integral part of Sterling Law for over 10 years, but we are also very proud of him.

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