Custody in Michigan

An introduction to custody

There are two types of custody. Legal custody, which describes how parents shall share decision-making authority MCL 722.27a and Physical custody describes physical care and supervision of a child. MCL 722.1102(n).

Parenting Time

How to enforce parenting time (or any order).

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[…]


Divorce in Michigan – Everything you need to know

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[…]

Custody in Michigan

Proper cause or change of circumstances

There is a barrier to modification of custody, child support, spousal support (alimony) and parenting time. The barrier is proper cause or change of circumstances. In a prior article, we examined the seminal case on the subject, Vodvarka v. Grassmeyer which defines both proper cause and change of circumstances in the context of a child[…]

Parenting Time

When can a court suspend parenting time?

Prior to suspending parenting time of a party, the trial court must hold an evidentiary hearing and find by clear and convincing evidence that continuation of parenting time would endanger the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health. Rozek v Rozek, 203 Mich App 193, 194-195; 511 NW2d 693 (1993).

parenting time

Summer parenting time with Covid. How to parent?

With Memorial Day in our rear-view mirror, we look forward to summer. Sunny days. Lemonade stands. Pool toys. Boats. Games of capture the flag. Ice cream trucks. Sleep-away camp. These are just some of the many things we associate with the summer months in the great State of Michigan. Unfortunately, we are entering summer during[…]

parenting time
best interest of child factors

What is really in your child’s best interest?

You learn some big words in law school.  Take for example the law school phrase, res ipsa loquitur, which is a legal principle that an occurrence of an accident implies negligence or escheat, which involves the forfeiture of property. While the phrase best interest of a child seems simple enough, applying the concept of what is[…]

Can a child choose

Every other weekend parenting time not enough? – The case of Medford v. Verkade

In the recent case of Medford v. Verkade, the trial court entered an opinion and order awarding full legal and primary physical custody of the parties’ minor child to the father (Mr. Medford). The trial court also awarded limited parenting time to the mother. Specifically, every other weekend, three nonconsecutive weeks per year, and certain holidays.[…]

Court ordered therapy

Court ordered therapy does not modify parenting time.

On December 12, 2017, in the case of Ludwig v. Ludwing, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued an opinion for publication which is a pretty big deal. Unlike an unpublished opinion which is advisory, published opinions must be followed by every trial court in Michigan. The opinion determined that Court ordered therapy between a parent[…]

Michigan divorce laws

The nitty gritty details of Michigan divorce and custody laws

It is easy to get lost in the trees when you should be focusing on the forest.  However, we recognize that some people like the nitty gritty details which is why we created the nitty gritty details series.  The nitty gritty details series will focus on the technical side of divorce, custody and support laws.[…]

Parallel Parenting

Parallel Parenting: When You Just Can’t Co-Anything Anymore

You’ve probably heard of co-parenting, a term used to describe the situation in which a child’s parents are no longer married or living together. These parents are no longer together as a couple, but they work together to parent the child. But, what happens when the conflict between the parents is really high? They really[…]

Holiday parenting time

All I want for Christmas is holiday visitation

The Christmas (Hanukkah, Kwannzaa . . .) holidays give plenty of reasons to be stressed out.  Add a holiday visitation dispute to the season and the stress level can reach epic proportions. Holiday visitation in Michigan is governed by Michigan Compiled Laws section 722.27a which provides that visitation shall be granted in accordance with the[…]


Creating a Co-Parenting Plan

Co-Parenting Plan One of the biggest challenges in a divorce is the determination of how time with the child (or children, as the case may be) will be split between the parents. A written document outlining how the parents will raise the child after divorce (and, sometimes, after separation), is called a co-parenting plan, visitation,[…]

Best Interest Factors

Custody in Michigan – Best interest of the child factor (h)

Custody in Michigan – Best interest of the child factor (h) One of the twelve child custody factors set forth in the Child Custody Act is best interest of the child factor (h).  Best interest of the child factor (h) addresses the home school and community record of the child. Not every child is the perfect[…]

Custody in Michigan – Best interest of the child factor (e)

Custody in Michigan – Best interest of the child factor (e) One of the twelve child custody factors set forth in the Child Custody Act is best interest of the child factor (e). Best interest of the child factor (e) examines the permanence, as a family unit of the proposed custodial home or homes.  Best interest[…]

Birthday parenting time

Michigan parenting time and the child’s birthday

Michigan parenting time and the child’s birthday Parenting time in Michigan time governs the times and frequency parents spend with their children.  In a perfect world, parents get along and a parenting time order could read something like:  “The parents are awarded liberal and frequent parenting time”.  Since we do not live in a perfect[…]

Reasonable parenting time in Michigan

Reasonable parenting time in Michigan. Michigan divorce and Michigan custody law provides that children have a right to a relationship with both parents.   This is sometimes accomplished with an award of liberal and reasonable parenting time in Michigan for the parents or a specific reasonable parenting time schedule. Absent an agreement by the parties, the[…]

Michigan Custody and Support in Divorce Cases

Michigan legal custody – What to do when you cannot agree?

Michigan legal custody – What to do when you cannot agree?  By:  Daniel Findling Most divorce cases end with both parents being awarded joint legal custody.  “Joint legal custody” means both parents are entitled to equal access and input to the educational, medical, religious needs of the child.  With joint legal custody parents must jointly[…]

Christmas parenting time (visitation) after divorce?

Christmas parenting time (visitation) after divorce:  More than 8 out of 10 Americans anticipate stress during the holiday season according to the American Psychological Association. (  The stress felt by individuals during or after a divorce is probably higher, especially during Christmas. In Michigan, the divorce and custody court give the parties leeway in fashioning[…]


Parenting Time in Michigan (Visitation law) [video]

Parenting time in Michigan (visitation law):   What does Michigan law provide?  How can you modify parenting time in Michigan? Want more than the basics? Click the button. Parenting time and visitation mean the same thing under Michigan law.  The statute, MCL 722.27(a) uses the term visitation to describe the frequency and duration a parent spends[…]


Child custody evaluation video – Are you ready to take the test?

Child custody evaluation:  A child custody evaluation is on the horizon?   Are you ready to take the test? While most child custody evaluations are accomplished with the assistance of the Friend of the Court, courts and clients often utilize an independent clinical or forensic psychologist to conduct a child custody evaluation, typically, a PhD.[…]


Michigan Child Custody, Child Support and Parenting Time (Visitation) video

Michigan Divorce Education Series Michigan child custody, child support and parenting time:  This video Webinar is a comprehensive explanation of Michigan law and strategy covering child custody, child support, and parenting time.  Key learnings and strategies are discussed.  I am hopeful you find it both empowering and educational.  A summary of the topics covered is[…]

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