Can you file for custody before a child is born?

The short answer is no. You cannot file for child custody before a child is born because an unborn child is neither a person nor property under Michigan law.  (See: Markiewicz v. Markiewicz)

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Markiewicz v. Markewicz

If your interested in what the Court in Markiewicz decided, the court decided that in a fight over a frozen embryo, the court must take into consideration both contractual obligations with the implications of imposing unwanted parenthood on a party.

There is a legal concept called “standing” which is simply defined as the right to bring a lawsuit. Under Michigan law, a fetus is not yet a person, rather a potential life. Therefore, a party does not have standing to sue under Michigan’s child custody act until a child is born. The appropriate time to bring a child custody action under Michigan law is after a child is born.

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I have been exclusively practicing divorce and family law in Michigan for over two decades. The attorneys at Findling Law all share the core value of practicing law to help people navigate change in their lives, without compromising principles.  We specialize in high socio-economic, high-profile and high-conflict cases, while also working with clients of all backgrounds. We recognize that the most important aspect of the practice of law is the application of the law to your specific circumstances. That is why we provide more free information on divorce and family law than any other Michigan law firm. We want to help you manage your situation. Allow our exceptional legal team to help you navigate the change in your life,

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