Suppose you are involved in a contested child custody battle and lose. Why can’t you simply refile the case and try again? The answer is provided in the seminal case of Vodvarka v. Grassmeyer. In Vodvarka, the Michigan Court of Appeals created a barrier to changing custody in order to avoid repeated custody evaluations.
A trial court must follow certain steps when making a child custody determination and when the trial court fails to do so, it is the basis for an appeal.
On October 20, 2022, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued its opinion in the case of Krieg v. Krieg after the trial court changed primary custody of the parties minor child to the mother and addressing the issue of supervised parenting time. The parties married in July 2014. Shortly after the parties married, father began[…]
Simply put, the power of the Friend of the Court is limited to making recommendations for the trial court to review. However, if no objections to a Friend of the Court recommendation are made, the Friend of the Court Recommendation will become an Order of the Court.
There is a three step process to change legal custody. First, a showing of proper cause or change of circumstances since the entry of the last order. Second, the established custodial environment determines the burden of proof and; Third a best interest of the child analysis.
Michigan child custody laws provide a two-step process for determining child custody. The first step determines the existence of an establish custodial environment which determines the burden of proof required. The second step examines the best interest of the child factors which must be examined by the court applying the applicable burden of proof.
The first step is a threshold question which asks, what has changed since the entry of the last court order under Vodvarka; The second step requires determining the existence of an established custodial environment and the burden of proof. The third step is to apply the best interest factors using the appropriate burden of proof.
Under MCL 552.507(4), if a party timely objects to a referee’s recommendation, the trial court “shall hold a de novo hearing.” The Michigan Court of Appeals further decided that a trial court cannot simply review the record created at the referee hearing, however the trial court can impose reasonable restrictions on duplicative evidence (e.g. only allowing new evidence).
You cannot file a child custody action in Michigan before a child is born because an unborn child is not a person, rather a potential life.
Visitation and parenting time mean exactly the same thing under Michigan law. The term visitation is old and more appropriate for visiting someone in prison than enjoying time with a child. Some time ago, in an effort to avoid marginalizing or insulting a parent, courts began replacing visitation with the term parenting time, a kinder[…]
Our child custody and parenting time videos have been viewed tens of thousands of times and we just added a new video.
There are two legal restrictions on how far you can move after a divorce with a minor child. First, MCL 722.31(1) prohibits a parent from moving after divorce with a minor child to another home more than 100 miles (as the crow flies) from your current residence without court permission. However, MCL 722.31(2) provides that this restriction does not apply if a parent is awarded sole legal custody. Second, Michigan Court Rule 3.211(C)(1) prohibits a parent from moving outside of the State of Michigan without approval from the Judge who awarded custody.
Michigan child custody law can be complex but don’t worry. We make it easy to help you understand this area of the law with the Michigan Divorce Education Series of videos on custody.
A change in the established custodial environment occurs if parenting-time adjustments change whom the child naturally looks to for guidance, discipline, the necessities of life, and parental comfort.
In a divorce or custody case, a Michigan Court can award the dependency to either parent, even if contrary to the IRS rules.
MCL 722.27a(2): If the parents of a child agree on parenting time terms, the court shall order the parenting time terms unless the court determines on the record by clear and convincing evidence that the parenting time terms are not in the best interests of the child.
Although the threshold requirements to modify custody or a motion to modify parenting time go by the same names, proper cause or a change of circumstance to change custody or modify parenting time have different meanings.
There is a general perception that court’s are reluctant to change custody because it can create a lack of stability in a child’s life and the perception is true.
A determination of an established custodial environment is important because a court cannot enter an order for child custody (or modify an existing order) without first determining if an established custodial environment exists and the trial court must make clear findings on this issue before deciding custody.
The willingness and ability of each of the parties to encourage a continuing parent-child relationship with the other parent is the most important best interest of the child factor.
Michigan Compiled Laws section 722.26a, requires parents to be advised of joint custody and the court must consider an award of joint custody at the request of either party.
You may think that there is no difference in the divorce laws by County and you are right, sort of. Divorce law is uniform throughout the state, a divorce in Oakland County is different for a number of reasons.
In Michigan, a custodial parent is the the parent with whom a child spends the majority of overnights with during the course of a year. This definition is similar to that used by the Internal Revenue Service when determining dependent status for tax purposes.
Determining income for child support or alimony purposes in Michigan often requires looking beyond the tax returns. So what is considered income for support in Michigan? Income for support and the 2021 Michigan Child Support Formula Manual Chapter 2 of the 2021 Michigan Child Support Formula Manual is a good resource in how to determine[…]
The phrase custodial parent is not defined in Michigan divorce or custody law. However, the term has evolved to mean the parent that is awarded the majority of parenting time in a specific Michigan divorce or custody case. Michigan statutes and case law have defined two types of custody in Michigan. Legal custody and physical[…]