Michigan Child Custody - DV Charges
If charged with domestic violence in Michigan and you have children, the other parent may try to take your kids away from you, or limit the time you spend with them. Here are some pointers for dealing with child custody in Michigan.
Child custody in Michigan has been an evolving legal matter over the last century. In Michigan, a long time ago, the father had absolute property right to the children then it changed to the mother having a preference as the best parent, now to the modern day standard in Michigan of "best interest of the child". In Michigan one parent cannot receive biological preference as the sole determining factor of custody.
Today, Michigan courts are required to adopt a gender neutral approach and assess the ability of each parent to care for their children. The Michigan family division looks to the Child Custody Act of 1970 to determine the child's custody, support and parenting time. Even if the parties come to an agreement about custody in Michigan, the court must still apply the best interest standard in determining whether or not to abide by the agreement of the parties. Even if a determination is made by the alternative dispute resolution process in Michigan, the court must still make their own determination.
In Michigan custody battles, parents, agencies and third parties including grandparents may have standing to seek custody. In Michigan the parent is given the presumption of custody, because it is presumed that it is in the best interest of the child to be with a parent unless there is clear and convincing evidence to establish custody with another person or agency.
A Michigan judge must examine the best interest of each individual child, but will keep the children together if that is indeed in the best interest of the child.
Trial courts are required to make "best interests" findings of fact in each of the following circumstances:
- When a parent seeks to terminate a full minor guardianship;
- When a parent or the parent with right to custody seeks to terminate a limited minor guardianship and the parent has not substantially complied with the limited guardianship placement plan;
- When the court, following a review if it is in the best interests of the minor child, decides to terminate the guardianship;
- Parenting time requests;
- Requests for removal of a guardian; and
- Custody and parenting time decisions.
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