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Child Custody Archives

When Can a Michigan Court Resolve an Interstate Child Custody Dispute?

Mass migration is occurring throughout the US as workers attempt to find work due to the current economic downturn. As these workers travel - often with their families in-tow - they can experience many financial hardships. Unfortunately, the stress of these financial difficulties can often lead to parents, and thus families, splitting up.

Michigan Bill Takes Aim at "Foreign Laws" that may Impact Child Custody and Divorce

Rep. Dave Agema is promoting a bill that will prohibit Michigan Courts from implementing foreign law. Although the bill does not specifically mention Islamic law - Sharia - many Muslim activists see the bill as an attack on Islam.

We all know that children change substantially as they get older, enter teenage years, etc. Sometimes the changes seem drastic to a parent, yet are those changes sufficient to meet the legal threshold for reviewing a custody order? The Court of Appeals has firmly answered "no."

Tags: custody

Toddlers and Technology: Proposed Parenting Plan Must be Considered on Its Own Merits in Change of Domicile Motion

The Court of Appeals recently held that a trial court's myopic focus on a toddler's purported ability to use technology in deciding a change of domicile motion was error. In McKimmy v Melling, decided on February 10, 2011 (for publication), a mother of two young boys sought the court's permission to move to North Dakota to live with her fiance. The mother's proposed parenting plan included the father having the boys over the summer, alternate holidays and Skype communication over the Internet. The trial court acknowledged that the proposed plan would give the father more time with the boys than the original parenting schedule, but was troubled by the father's inability to have regular weekly, "in person" contact with the boys under the new plan. Finding that the old plan provided "more meaningful" interaction between the boys and their father, it denied the motion. The Court of Appeals vacated the order, ruling that the trial court wrongly compared the new plan to the original plan rather than simply analyzing whether the proposed plan allowed the father to maintain a parental relationship with the children under MCL 722.31(4)(c). The relevant query is not which plan is better, but whether the new plan has the capacity to adequately preserve and foster the parental relationship between the children and the left behind parent.

Involved Father Gets "Credit" in Determination of Established Custodial Environment

In Landon v Sheldon, a paternity case decided by the Court of Appeals on December 21, 2010, the trial court found that an established custodial environment existed solely with defendant mother. The COA disagreed and reversed the trial court's award of sole custody to mom.

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