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Court's approval of mother's change of domicile petition proper, as court sufficiently examined children's best interest

The court held that while the trial court improperly considered the change of domicile factors under MCL 722.31(4) because there was no existing court order governing custody in this case, its ultimate custody decision was not in error. There was sufficient evidence in the record to indicate that it considered the MCL 722.23 factors in light of the defendant-mother's proposed move out of state under a clear and convincing evidentiary standard, and its factual findings as to those factors were not against the great weight of the evidence. Thus, the court affirmed the trial court's order granting the plaintiff-father joint legal custody of the parties' two children, granting defendant sole physical custody of them, and granting defendant's motion to change domicile subject to certain conditions. The first question was whether the trial court's opinion from the bench "constituted a valid 'court order' under MCL 722.31(1) such that the court should have addressed the MCL 722.31(4) factors." While the trial court "issued an opinion regarding custody from the bench prior to addressing the change-of-domicile factors in MCL 722.31(4), the opinion did not become a valid court order until" the trial court signed the written order. However, its "procedural error was harmless." The trial court determined that an ECE existed for the children with both parties, then analyzed the MCL 722.23 factors while specifically reserving discussion of defendant's proposed move. It finally addressed the change-of-domicile factors under MCL 722.31(4), but did not reiterate its assessment of the MCL 722.23 factors specifically regarding the proposed move. The question was whether it sufficiently examined the children's best interests as to defendant's proposed change of their custodial environment as required by MCL 722.27(1)(c). The court concluded that the trial court "understood that defendant was required to prove by clear and convincing evidence that a change in the custodial environment was in the best interests of the children," and that its finding that the change was in their best interests "can be easily drawn from" its opinion such that the trial court's "failure to reiterate the MCL 722.23 factors specifically as they pertained to defendant's proposed move was not error."

Antenuptial agreement held to be valid and enforceable

The court held that the parties' antenuptial agreement was valid and enforceable, concluding that to invalidate it on the basis of one party's fault would contravene the agreement's clear and unambiguous language, and that as a matter of law, the...

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