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.
When The Kidnapper Is Also The Parent
Determining child custody is not something that the courts take lightly. The best interests of the child are always what the courts will want to determine. One way they do this is through the evaluations of the friend of the court office. This is usually the first agency parents deal with when the court is trying to determine custody. According to Michigan law, a custody evaluation will be completed, with copies going to the parents and the judge, when ordered by the court or when mediation is not attempted or is not successful.
In most child custody cases, the first public agency that parents will speak with is in the friend of the court office. There are several responsibilities that the friend of the court has, and one of those is a custody evaluation.
Did you know that your behavior during your Michigan divorce can have a direct effect on your kids? Although your world is almost certainly being turned upside down, your emotional turmoil may pale in comparison to that being experienced by your children. You need the time and resources to deal with your own emotions during a divorce and child custody proceeding, but you must also manage your kids' emotional well-being. Today, we answer some questions about helping your youngsters adjust to a new family format.
Are you newly divorced with children? If so, you have probably been working out the details of your child custody agreement with your ex-spouse. If this is your first back-to-school season with youngsters after a breakup, you might start feeling overwhelmed -- and your children could easily feel the same way. So, what are the keys to maintaining a smooth home life while still satisfying the requirements of your custody agreement? With the help of your Oakland County child custody attorneys, you and your family can get back to school -- and back to normal -- far faster than you thought you could.
Do you know your legal rights when it comes to your spouse moving away with your kids? Michigan's child custody policy outlines specific guidelines for those parents who are considering relocation. Although there are legitimate reasons for relocating to another city or state, parents who share custody typically have to work together to come to a resolution whereas their custody agreement is concerned if one person is thinking of moving.