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FAMILY LAW 46: Do you agree with your Friend of the Court Referee recommendation?

Though never married, the parties in this case share a son. On November 10, 2014, plaintiff filed a paternity complaint, claiming defendant as the child’s father, and alleging that defendant was of sufficient ability to provide support. On November 14, 2014, the trial court ordered genetic testing, which determined defendant to be the minor child’s biological father.

Consent Judgment

A consent judgment of filiation was entered in January 2015. The consent judgment provided that plaintiff would have sole physical custody of M, but the parties would share joint legal custody. Parenting time would be as the parties agree. Initially, defendant exercised custody of the minor child on the weekends. However, when the minor child was approximately two years old, the parties agreed to a one week on, one week off schedule. Although never memorialized in a court order, the parties operated under this agreement for about three years.

Modify Parenting Time

In 2019, Plaintiff moved to modify parenting time and to determine a school district. As of September 2019, the minor child was slated to begin kindergarten, and the parties’ residences were too far apart to continue the alternating week schedule.

Plaintiff sought to enroll the minor child in a local Public School, and asked the trial court to modify the parenting time agreement to afford the parties every other week until the start of the 2019 school year and to afford defendant parenting time three weekends every month, alternating holidays, alternating breaks, and half of summer.

The referee heard testimony from both parties, then determined that the minor child had an established custodial environment with each parent. The referee found that proper cause existed to change custody and parenting time because M was starting school.

Friend of the Court Referee Recommendation

The referee recommended that the parties are to share joint legal and joint physical custody. The parenting time must change. Father have each weekend except for the second full weekend of the month, and that the child attend school in mother’s district starting in Kindergarten next year. There will be a holiday schedule, and there will be a summer schedule also. The parties are going to be alternating weeks during the summer; they will continue that schedule. Christmas break and spring break will be designated in the schedule.

Assistance with Custody and Parenting Time

There is likely nothing scarier than the thought of not being able to see your children. Aldrich Legal Services understands what a stressful time this is for you when your custody rights are on the line.

Aldrich Legal Services represent parents throughout southeast Michigan with a wide range of custody-related matters.

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FAMILY LAW 50: A Michigan Court has jurisdiction to make an initial custody determination when it is the home state of the child on the date of the commencement of the proceeding or within 6 months before the commencement of the proceeding.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY  Plaintiff and defendant have twin sons, but never married.  On August 13, 2008, the Court of Common Pleas Juvenile Division in Montgomery County, Ohio established plaintiff as the legal father of the children and...

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