Many family law practitioners were shocked when, in the case of In re AJR, the Court of Appeals construed the provisions of MCL 710.51(6) to mean that a stepparent adoption could not occur when the parents of the minor child at issue shared joint legal custody. This holding (affirmed by the Michigan Supreme Court on June 25, 2014), became a complete bar to stepparent adoptions in situations where parents share joint legal custody. Because joint legal custody is routinely granted by courts -- even in situations where the non custodial parent is not involved the child -- this holding added a new step to the adoption process by requiring that a parent with joint legal custody to petition the court for sole legal custody. As practitioners know, the threshold for changing custody is not an easy one to clear. The decision in AJR thus made it significantly difficult for anyone to obtain a stepparent adoption. This changed in September 2016 when the Legislature amended the statute.
Effective January 1, 2016, Colorado adopted its new spousal support maintenance formula. It follows the path of states like Maine, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Jersey in adopting a formula similar to child support to achieve uniformity, providing judges with a guideline to follow when awarding spousal support.
When you're considering adoption to add to your family, it is important to consider some of the psychological issues a child could have because of the adoption. In some cases, family and individual issues can interfere with a child's development.
Do you know the differences in procedures between a private and a public foster adoption? Both options are available for someone who is looking to expand their family through adoption, but each has its own benefits and drawbacks. Today, we look at the characteristics of both private and public adoption and help you determine which to pursue based on your family's needs and preferences.
Did you know that foster care is often a viable path to adoption for Michigan families? In some cases, children may be placed with their family members for foster care. In other situations, youngsters are put in a safe, loving home that belongs to someone outside of their biological family. Depending on the situation, foster parents may be able to adopt their foster children if parental rights are terminated. Many child welfare agencies prioritize reuniting the child with his or her blood relatives, but that may not always be possible, and adoption can be a viable alternative.
As same-sex couples await the United States Supreme Court's ruling as to whether gays and lesbians will have the legal right to marry in the state of Michigan, as well as three other states, some fear that there will still be a good deal of upheaval on some levels. Ineke Mushovic, the executive director of Movement Advancement Project believes that if the Supreme Court rules in favor, it will still come down to the states themselves having to sort out various situations involving same-sex couples.