On October 26, 2023, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued its opinion in the case of Josey vs. Hayes. An appeal filed by Ms. Hayes after the trial court found her in contempt of court for failing to abide by a parenting time order. Althought Ms. Hayes managed to win on appeal (the trial court[…]
In what appears to be a rush to judgment to protect a minor child’s mental health, the trial court in the Barretta case, changed custody without following the three steps to modify child custody.
On June 29, 2023, the Michigan Court of Appeals overturned an an award of sole physical custody and instructed the trial court to conduct further proceedings in the case of Bitar v. Baroody. In this case, the trial court granted the mother sole physical custody with the father having parenting time every other weekend. However,[…]
There are three different laws governing who pays attorney fees in divorce. MCR 3.206(D), MCL 552.13 and Common Law.
While agreements on custody are usually “rubber stamped” and approved by the court, the court must make an independent determination that the agreement is in the best interest of the minor child. However, you can agree on parenting time.
Marriage struggles are real and sometimes things just don’t work out the way you plan. If your unhappy and are considering a divorce in Michigan, here is everything you need to know. Sometimes things don’t get better. However, the proverb “knowledge is power” can help you take control of your situation with a fresh start[…]
In sum, although court’s have created two types of custody (Physical and Legal), however, there is really only one type of custody that has two parts (The frequency of parenting time (MCL 722.26a(7)(a)) and decision making authority (MCL 722.26a(b)(b).
It is imperative to understand the nature and extent of the marital estate before reaching a property settlement in divorce. In a Michigan divorce case, the formal process of finding assets is called discovery. After all, you cannot negotiate a good deal until you have an understanding about what there is to divide and the[…]
The science behind the effects of divorce on children in sound. Although each family is unique, divorce has been shown to have a negative impact on a child. However, research supports the notion that the impact of staying in an unhealthy marriage can be worse, as a child learns that it is ok to be[…]
The Oakland County Friend of the Court (FOC) consists of a group of attorneys, counselors and support staff which assist the court in cases involving minor children or support by providing a formal (or informal) dispute resolution service including custody and support valuations. Another important function of the FOC is to conduct an Early Intervention[…]
On January 26, 2023, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued its opinion in the highly contentious case of Hawes v. Cromie, the unmarried parents of a 13 year old son. For more than ten years, the child’s parents have litigated over every aspect resulting in the court noting that: Throughout the last decade, the parents’[…]
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.