Vacationing with children post-divorce

by Dr. David Lowenstein | Mar 7, 2019 | Timely Topics |

In addition to divvying up the finances, many couples spend the majority of the divorce process discussing the custody of their children. In most cases, parents create a shared parenting plan that lays out the details of their arrangement. Unfortunately, vacation time – and any time away from school – is often overlooked. It’s much easier to agree on the day-to-day whereabouts of the kids.

With spring break and summer vacation on the horizon, here are a few things to discuss with your ex.

  1. Plan far in advance. Regardless of how flexible your daily custody arrangement is, vacation time should be determined far enough in advance to allow ample time for planning. Summer vacation days, spring break and other vacations should be divided evenly between both parents. An every-other-year approach to certain holidays works well, too.
  2. Share the details. When taking your children on a vacation, it’s important to communicate the details of your trip to your ex. He or she has a right to know where you’re going and for how long, as well as information about how to reach you. If you’re leaving the country, you will also need a signed and notarized travel consent form from your ex. 
  3. Establish a communication plan. Another thing you’ll want to discuss with your ex is how he or she will communicate with the kids while you’re away. You may want to plan specific times when they can chat, without losing sight of the fact that vacation is a time to unplug and connect – not to be tethered to a phone. Still, it’s important to be sensitive to your child’s needs. If he or she wants to contact your ex, make it happen.
  4. Put on a good face. If you’re the parent who’s not traveling with the kids, you may be feeling sad, especially if they’re vacationing in a place you’ve all been to before. Nevertheless, you’ll need to sound excited when talking to your kids. That means asking questions about the trip and eagerly awaiting their fun pictures and souvenirs. At the end of the day, you want your kids to enjoy time with your ex. If you act sad, that will only hamper their ability to relax and enjoy the trip.
  5. Discard the rules. If you and your ex can manage a vacation together with your children, that’s great. If you can’t, that’s fine, too. There are no rules when it comes to these situations. Keep in mind, however, that while a big happy family vacation might sound ideal to you, it could be confusing to your children. There’s a reason you and your ex no longer live together, and pretending to be a cohesive family unit could send mixed messages.

You can read this article, and others, on Dr. Lowenstein’s blog at


Ohio-based court rules tire-chalking for parking enforcement unconstitutional

The age-old parking-enforcement practice of tire-chalking is unconstitutional, a federal appeals court in Cincinnati ruled Monday, saying that it violated the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of unreasonable searches.

A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a first-of-its-kind decision, ruled that marking a car’s tires to gather information is a form of trespass requiring a warrant, similar to police attaching a GPS to a vehicle to track a suspected drug dealer.

Parking attendants across the country have been chalking tires with big white lines for decades in zones without meters to enforce time limits and issue tickets. It’s a substantial source of revenue for many cities.

The decision, while undoubtedly bringing joy to parking scofflaws everywhere, could cost some cities money, either from lost revenue or having to install more meters.

On the other hand, as Fourth Amendment expert Orin Kerr of the University of Southern California law school tweeted, it “seems easy enough these days for parking enforcers to just take a photo of the car, or even just a close-up photo of the tire, rather than chalk it. … No 4A issues then.”

Read the full article in The Columbus Dispatch: Ohio-Based Court Rules Tire-Chalking for Parking Enforcement Unconstitutional

Ohio’s Efforts to Form Opioid Pact Repeated in New England

By Csaba Sukosd | March 13, 2019 – Court News Ohio

The Ohio Supreme Court initiative that brought eight states together to fight the opioid epidemic is being replicated by the six New England states.

Chief justices from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont have formed the New England Regional Judicial Opioid Initiative (NE RJOI).

Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and fellow chief justices, government, law enforcement, health officials and academics from Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia convened in Cincinnati in August 2016 to create the Regional Judicial Opioid Initiative (RJOI).

Read the full article here

Sealed Records Expand Hope

For someone who has been arrested but never convicted of a crime or has had their case dismissed, removing a case record from the public offers fairness. For those with convictions who finish their court-ordered sentences, removing public access to case documents gives them a chance to move forward.


When individuals end up in court because of poor choices or mistakes, big or small, they pay a penalty. They may serve community control, pay fines, or spend time in jail or prison. After finishing their court-ordered punishment, though, people often experience the negative stigma surrounding a conviction that presents obstacles to moving forward in their lives.

To build toward a more productive life, a person at a minimum will need some basics — housing, a job, maybe education. The ability to seal or expunge a criminal record helps those who’ve completed their sentence to make strides in new directions.

Read the full article here

Dagger Law is able to provide assistance with both records expungement, also called expunction, and sealing of records. Expungement is the process of removing the record of an arrest or criminal conviction, whereas sealing of a criminal record simply makes the criminal record unable to be viewed through public records though the record itself would still be accessible to the court and prosecutors. Expunged records should not show up on a background check, though there are times when they unfortunately do. Sealed records will show up on an FBI background check, but shouldn’t otherwise be available to the general public such as landlords, schools, and most employers. 

If you wish to speak to a Dagger Law attorney about sealing or expunging your criminal records, please use our ATTORNEY CONTACT FORM

Opinion: Stop Michigan counties’ unconstitutional stealing

Can Oakland County confiscate a citizen’s personal property for $8.41 in unpaid taxes? This question will likely be answered by the Michigan Supreme Court later this year.

The case at hand involves Uri Rafaeli, who failed to pay the interest owed on property taxes for a rental property in Southfield several years ago. Oakland County eventually foreclosed on his property for the $8.41 plus $277 in additional interest and fees. Similarly, Oakland County seized Andre Ohanessian’s property in Orchard Village for a $6,000 tax debt.

The county proceeded to auction Rafaeli’s property for $24,500 and Ohanessian’s property for $82,000 — and then kept the surplus proceeds. Lower state courts have agreed the officials acted properly under Michigan’s General Property Tax Act, which requires officials to take property for any amount of unpaid taxes and keep all the proceeds if they sell it.

Read the full Stop Michigan counties’ Unconstitutional Stealing Article.

By Joe Barnett, Detroit News 

If you, or a loved one, owe back taxes we recommend that you call a Dagger Law Tax attorney today, or please use our ATTORNEY CONTACT FORM