Michigan child custody law – the statutes.
In this article we examine the most commonly cited statutes relating to Michigan child custody law.
Sources of Michigan child custody law
Michigan child custody law comes from four sources, statutes, precedent, court rules and English common law.
When the legislature passes a Michigan child custody law, the law is codified in a statute when it is signed by the governor.
When a court interprets a Michigan child custody law statute, the court’s opinion becomes law as a precedent if the case is published or advisory if the case is not. The court’s Michigan child custody law decisions become a guide to be considered in similar fact circumstances.
The Michigan Court Rules contain Michigan child custody laws that were adopted by the Michigan Supreme Court and English common law describes is the ancient law of England which is the foundation of the laws in the United States and stands side by side with Michigan law.
The Michigan child custody law statutes
The statutes that make up Michigan child custody law are codified in section 722 of Michigan Compiled Laws (“MCL”) and is also known as the Child Custody Act of 1970. The most cited statutes of Michigan child custody law are listed below:
MCL 722.22. This statute provides definitions of terms;
MCL 722.23. This statute defines the best interest of the child;
MCL 722.25. This statute defines how custody disputes are decided;
MCL 722.26. This statute describes jurisdiction over custody disputes.
MCL 722.26a. This statute defines joint legal custody;
MCL 722.26b. This statute provides the rights of a guardian to bring a child custody action.
MCL 722.26c.d and e. These statutes provides the rights of a third person to bring a child custody action.
MCL 722.27. This statute provides the powers of the court to decide child custody and order support.
MCL 722.27a. This statue defines how parenting time is determined.
MCL 722.27b. This statute addresses the rights of grandparents to petition for custody.
MCL 722.27c. This statute authorizes the court to appoint a parenting coordinator.
MCL 722.28. This statute sets the standard for taking an appeal of a child custody determination.
It is important to note that the statutes do not make up the entire law. The Michigan Supreme Court has issued court rules that also govern Michigan child custody law and court’s have interpreted the statutes. Finally, old English common law plays a limited role in the rights of the parties in a child custody determination.
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By: Daniel Findling