In Michigan, the Child Custody Act of 1970 (CCA) governs custody, parenting time, and child support issues for minor children; it is the exclusive means by which to pursue child custody rights.
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Posts in the Custody category:
DIVORCE 65: Both parties were ordered to cooperate with the supervised parenting time and reunification therapy.
The trial court entered a consent judgment of divorce, awarding sole legal and physical custody of the children to mother, but awarding father supervised parenting time.
FAMILY LAW 77: Court awarded plaintiff sole legal custody; defendant was unwilling to work with plaintiff.
For joint custody to work, parents must be able to agree with each other on basic issues in child rearing including health care, religion, education, day to day decision making and discipline and they must be willing to cooperate with each other in joint decision making. If two equally capable parents are unable to cooperate and to agree generally concerning important decisions affecting the welfare of their children, the court has no alternative but to determine which parent shall have sole custody of the children.
The trial court found that the parties mutually agreed to place the children in school in Michigan upon J’s move to California. That decision changed the children’s lives.
The parties were married for five and a half years with only one child, divorcing in December 2018. Plaintiff continued to live in the marital home in Washtenaw County after defendant moved out. Following the divorce, defendant moved to Fowlerville....
An established custodial environment may exist in more than one home and can be established as a result of a temporary custody order, in violation of a custody order, or in the absence of a custody order.
The parties married in 2013 while in Florida. Plaintiff was originally from Michigan, and defendant was originally from New Jersey. The child, JV, was born in 2014. The parties separated approximately one year later. The Florida courts granted the...
FAMILY LAW 72: Plaintiff’s refusal to cooperate regarding parenting time results in change of custody.
The record reflects that plaintiff refused to cooperate with defendant regarding defendant’s parenting time until the circuit court intervened to enforce defendant’s rights.
FAMILY LAW 71: Custody Dispute - Willingness to facilitate a close and continuing parent-child relationship.
The trial court found that plaintiff was not willing or able to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between JB and defendant.
FAMILY LAW 70: Referee found that it was in the best interests of the children for plaintiff to have primary physical custody.
Before considering a change of custody, a trial court must find that there has been a change of circumstances or proper cause.
D and T began a relationship when D was separated from his wife. After T became pregnant with the minor child, D and his wife reconciled. A few months after the minor child was born. In May 2015, an order was entered with the consent of the...
FAMILY LAW 64: The court reversed the trial court’s order granting joint physical and legal custody of the parties’ children to defendant-father, concluding that the trial court improperly conflated his motion to change custody with plaintiff-mother
The parties divorced in 2013. The judgment of divorce granted mother sole physical and legal custody and ordered that the child’s domicile would remain in Michigan. In 2015, the trial court granted mother’s motion to change domicile,...
FAMILY LAW 63: The court remanded the mother’s motion for modification of custody for an evidentiary hearing, concluding that her offer of proof and other information in the record warranted one.
Plaintiff and defendant were divorced in July 2017. The judgment of divorce stated that the parties would have joint-legal and joint-physical custody, and provided for a parenting-time schedule. Defendant filed many motions to change custody,...
FAMILY LAW 58: The trial court did not err by denying defendant-father’s motion to change custody and modify his parenting time of the parties’ child without having an evidentiary hearing to determine if there was proper cause or a change in circums
This case arose from a custody and parenting-time dispute between plaintiff-mother and father over their minor child. After father failed to respond to the paternity complaint within the 21 days of receipt of the complaint, mother filed an affidavit...
FAMILY LAW 57: The trial court did not err by denying defendant-mother’s motion to change custody and modify her parenting time of the parties’ child.
BACKGROUND MC was born in the summer of 2014 at which time the parties resided together. In November 2014, plaintiff-father filed a complaint for sole physical and joint legal custody of MC. The complaint and subsequent motions presented highly...
FAMILY LAW 56: The court held that the trial court erred by failing to consider up-to-date information before ordering the change of the child’s ECE.
FACTUAL BACKGROUND The parties were involved in a romantic relationship when the minor child who is the subject of these proceedings was born on February 9, 2006. The parties did not live together and were never married. Approximately one year...
FAMILY LAW 51: Defendant-father’s motion for a change of custody and parenting time was not granted in error because all of the trial court’s findings of fact were not against the great weight of the evidence.
BACKGROUND Plaintiff and defendant have three children together—ET, KT, and CT. Plaintiff and defendant’s relationship ended in 2013. Following the end of their relationship, the trial court entered a consent order for...
When a relationship just isn’t working, there is power in ending a bad situation. Many people rush to get a divorce, but there are other options for couples to explore. Legal separation is another avenue people use to gain distance from each...
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...
In this case, the parties divorced by consent judgment in February 2018. Under the divorce judgment, the parties shared joint legal custody and plaintiff had primary physical custody of their minor child, who has special needs. In the divorce...
In this case, B and S’s relationship began to deteriorate after AB’s birth. Money was tight and B claimed that S rejected B’s requests that she return to work. S, on the other hand, accused B of belittling her role as a...
During their marriage, the parties had eight children, five of whom are still minors. In the parties’ 2014 consent judgment of divorce, plaintiff was awarded primary physical custody of the children, and the parties were awarded joint...
The parties were never married, but they have a five-year-old daughter (ES). At the time the child was born, the parties lived in Colorado. When the child was approximately six months old, the parties agreed to a Parenting Plan in the District Court...
FAMILY LAW 44: Father files motion to change the two minor children’s domicile from Michigan to Indiana.
In March 2018, defendant filed a motion to change the children’s domicile from Jackson, Michigan to Mishawaka, Indiana, a town approximately 140 miles away.
FAMILY LAW 43: Joint legal custody; court determines if parents can cooperate and generally agree concerning important decisions.
In this case, defendant requested joint legal custody. He testified that he believed that he and plaintiff would be able to co-parent effectively.
FAMILY LAW 42: Motion to modify custody denied due to lack of supporting affidavits or documentation.
The lack of substantiation, again and again, could reasonably call into question plaintiff’s motives and credibility on all matters. The trial court appeared more than open to further considering a motion to modify custody if plaintiff would come forward with supporting documentary evidence, explaining why the court took the unusual step of denying the motion without prejudice.
FAMILY LAW 41: To minimize disruptive changes in children’s custody, moving party must establish cause or a change of circumstance.
To minimize unwarranted and disruptive changes in children’s custody, a trial court may only modify children’s custody if the moving party first establishes a proper cause or a change of circumstances. The purpose of this framework is to erect a barrier against removal of a child from an established custodial environment and to minimize unwarranted and disruptive changes of custody orders.
FAMILY LAW 40: Trial court found that the children’s unexcused absences justified a reevaluation of the last custody order.
Defendant sent plaintiff text messages strongly indicating that she would not comply with the order limiting her parenting time, the trial court entered a second ex parte temporary order suspending defendant’s parenting time, which was later modified to grant defendant supervised parenting time.
FAMILY LAW 38: Trial court did not consider joint physical custody an option because both parties requested sole physical custody.
Because the trial court found that an established custodial environment existed with both parties and acknowledged that plaintiff’s request for sole physical custody would change the established custodial environment, it held plaintiff to the appropriate clear and convincing evidence standard of proof.
Plaintiff and defendant were married in December 2008 and had one minor child born during the marriage, AM. Plaintiff also had a daughter from a prior marriage, who is not at issue in this matter. During the parties’ marriage, plaintiff was...
Plaintiff requested sole legal custody, arguing that she and defendant had difficulty co-parenting and that defendant would not agree to medical treatment for the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD, need for orthodontic work, and need for vision testing and glasses. Plaintiff also requested an alternating weekly or biweekly schedule during the summer, which would increase her overall parenting time.
FAMILY LAW 36: Trial court found proper cause because health and education are important subjects relating to custody.
The trial court found that proper cause was established because the children’s health and education are two very important subjects relating to custody. When parents cannot agree on a child’s medical treatment and educational course, these topics can have significant effects on a child’s well-being.
The court found the requested change of domicile will not change the children’s established custodial environment. Additionally, at the January 8, 2019 hearing, the trial court discusses the established custodial environment, and father’s counsel acknowledges that the established custodial environment is with the mother.
The appeals court was concerned with the trial court’s minimization of the effect of the domestic violence in the home upon the parties’ children.
FAMILY LAW 33: Defendant posited that he was an affiliated father under the Revocation of Paternity Act.
Following entry of the judgment of divorce, plaintiff filed a motion for revocation of an acknowledged father’s paternity under MCL 722.14371 of the Revocation of Paternity Act (RPA).
FAMILY LAW 32: Trial court committed error in failing to address whether there was an established custodial environment.
On appeal, plaintiff argues that the trial court failed to make any findings regarding (1) the child’s established custodial environment, (2) the child’s best interests regarding the grant of primary physical custody to defendant, (3) the child’s best interests with respect to parenting time, and (4) the child’s best interests pertaining to the parties’ dispute over daycare.
FAMILY LAW 31: Custody decisions require all best interest factors, but parenting time decisions only contested issues.
Custody decisions require findings under all the best interest factors, but parenting time decisions may be made with findings on only the contested issues.
The fact that plaintiff offered defendant the RFR for numerous Tuesday overnights over the course of approximately nine months does not support defendant’s position that a change of circumstances or proper cause has arisen.
The court shall not modify or amend its previous judgments or orders or issue a new order so as to change the established custodial environment of a child unless there is presented clear and convincing evidence that it is in the best interest of the child.
Defendant ultimately not being in full compliance did not make the filing of the motions or the signing of them by defense counsel frivolous.