Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Attorney's guardianship, custody strategy worked

Family law attorney Renee Tegel executed an effective legal maneuver for her client, Arthur Scavone, in winning him custody of his grandchild, the son of murdered Sterling Heights woman Jennifer Scavone.
Grandparents on both sides pursued custody of Jennifer’s then 11-year-old son after she was found shot to death Feb. 9 in her running vehicle along a Detroit freeway.
Temporary guardianship was immediately granted to Keven Finley, Jennifer’s live-in boyfriend who has a child with Jennifer. Tegel quickly filed for Arthur’s guardianship, and it was granted in March by Macomb Probate Court Judge Carl Marlinga.
But guardianship can be attacked and challenged by other parties, so Tegel's ultimate goal for Arthur Scavone was full custody. It provides stronger legal protection.
The fraternal grandparents dropped from the picture, probably because they knew they didn’t have legal standing over their son, Josef Zbercot, who also filed for custody.  But severely damaging Zbercot’s case was his conviction for molesting a minor relative last summer while staying in a motel in Sandusky, Ohio, during a Cedar Point trip.
Circuit Court Judge Kathryn Viviano also included Arthur Scavone's guardianship among other factors in awarding custody to him. Scavone during his guardianship also had provided a loving, stable environment for the boy.
It was the right ruling despite its uniqueness because a grandfather gained custody over a natural father.
Viviano left the door open for Zbercot, who lives with his parents in Roseville, to possibly gain custody or at least parenting time, which the judge suspended, sometime in the future if he deals with some personal issues.
Although Arthur Scavone probably would have won custody anyway, gaining the guardianship first certainly helped.


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