Thanks to talented family lawyer James P. Ryan of Plymouth, Michigan for keeping family lawyers advised of pending legislation. He advised today that the SBM’s position on these House Bills was announced in the newest Public Policy Update.
HB 4672 Family law; marriage and divorce; division of property in divorce; enact statutory standards. Amends secs. 18 & 19 of 1846 RS 84 (MCL 552.18 & 552.19).
HB 4673 Family law; marriage and divorce; division of property on divorce; enact statutory standards. Amends sec. 1 of 1949 PA 42 (MCL 552.401).
1. Incorporation of current statutory law;
2. Clarification of equitable factors relevant to judicial review;
3. Codification of existing case law pertaining to commonly recurring fact patterns;
4. Consideration of existing and pending uniform state laws;
5. Maintenance of judicial discretion;
6. Improving the predictability of outcomes in cases without individual agreements;
7. Identification of the circumstances, if any, under which a private agreement that conflicts with the statutes would be trumped by the statutes.
Family lawyers, especially those dedicated people who serve on the Family Law Section Council, and William C. Kandler, our FLS lobbyist, are dedicated to monitoring the state legislature to ensure that legislation that is proposed is reviewed by the section and its members, that critical thought is devoted to ensure that legislation truly benefits the public at large, and that legislation that is proposed doesn't gut the existing law that has evolved over a considerable amount of time. People arrange their lives (or don't) around the law as they understand it. Sometimes, as with the subject matter of this proposed legislation, case law has evolved that--because the family court is a court of equity--protects people and recognizes the equitable rights that have arisen as a result of specific facts of specific cases.
The legislation under scrutiny here was the topic of a previous post on this Blog. You may read that here: