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Family Law Archives

Updated Statute Removes Hurdle For Stepparent Adoption

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.

New Colorado Spousal Support Formula: Could It Be On The Way Here?

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.

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