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MICHIGAN FAMILY LAW: DHHS filed its petition in Wayne Circuit Court requesting that the trial court assume jurisdiction over the child.

In 2018, H filed a domestic-relations complaint against M.  The trial court entered a judgment of custody providing that the parties shall have joint legal and joint physical custody of the parties’ minor child, CKM, and that the parties shall share parenting time equally. These proceedings occurred in the domestic relations section of the family division of Wayne Circuit Court.

Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS)

in September 2020, the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) filed its petition in Wayne Circuit Court requesting that the trial court assume jurisdiction over CKM. The child-protective matter was referred to the juvenile section of the family division. The petition alleged that H inhales (huffs) household spray chemicals whose volatile vapors are breathed in and then she passes out or becomes incoherent with the children present. Her substance abuse affects her ability to parent.

At the jurisdictional trial, H admitted that she had a substance abuse addiction that somewhat affected her ability to parent her children. The trial court ordered that CKM would remain with M until the custody hearing in a few months.

Review Hearings

The trial court held several dispositional review hearings. As of May 5, 2021, CKM was living with M but had supervised visitations with H, and H was seeking employment. The goal continued to be reunification. However, DHHS requested that M seek and obtain a custody order for CKM. Accordingly, M filed a motion for sole physical and legal custody of CKM.

The trial court was informed that CKM had been living with M since early 2020. The trial court thus found sufficient change in circumstances for the Court to address the issue of custody. The trial court next briefly heard testimony from M and H about the best-interests factors under MCL 722.23. Before issuing its custody ruling, the trial court asked the DHHS caseworker for her position, and the caseworker recommended that H have supervised parenting time until we get some more drug screens in.

With these findings in mind, the trial court ruled that M and H would share joint legal custody because they seem to be able to work quite well together. However, the trial court ruled that M would have sole physical custody, particularly because DHHS currently recommended that H only have supervised parenting time.

Legal Assistance with Custody Issues in Michigan

If you are separating from the mother or father of your children, it is important to protect your custodial rights. If the process does not turn out like you thought it would, you may not have the custody you deserve. Seek the advice and guidance of an experienced family law attorney who will be by your side every step of the way.

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