Michigan Republicans Support Marriage Equality

26 Michigan GOP Republicans publicly support Marriage Equality and gay marriageThe Michigan Marriage Equality case is headed to the Court of Appeals in August. But among the over 50 pleadings was one that may surprise you: an amicus brief signed by 26 influential members of the Michigan Republican party asking the court to rule in favor of LGBT couples across the state. (more…)

MI Supreme Court Protects Parents’ Rights

Each Parent Must Be Found Unfit Before Children Can Be RemovedParents have a fundamental constitutional right to care for their children, but for 70 years, Michigan has allowed courts to take one parent’s children away because of the behavior of the other parent. But on June 2, 2014, the Michigan Supreme Court put an end to the practice by ruling the “One Parent Doctrine” unconstitutional. (more…)

Why Isn’t Child Maltreatment Taken More Seriously?

Why isn't child abuse a factor in custody?Child custody in Michigan is decided based on 12 Best Interest Factors. These factors cover everything from love and affection to physical health of the parents, to domestic violence. But none of the factors explicitly address abuse or neglect of the children. If a judge is trying to decide what is in the child’s best interest, shouldn’t the child’s treatment be at the center of that discussion? (more…)

Is Surrogacy Legal in Michigan?

Is Surrogacy Legal in Michigan?You and your spouse want to have a child, but you are unable to carry a child to term. You have explored your options and have found that there is no way for your wife to bear the pregnancy. What do you do? Is there another legal option? (more…)

Divorce Trials Can Be Hell For Domestic Violence Survivors

Divorce Can Be Hell for Domestic Abuse SurviorsDomestic violence is a part of hundreds of thousands of Americans’ lives every day. A woman in the U.S. is beaten every 9 seconds. Legal clinics and shelters like the Family Law Assistance Project and Haven in Oakland County help survivors get away from abusive partners. But divorce can be a painful and sometimes dangerous part of the process. (more…)

Michigan Considers Law to Regulate Collaborative Process

Michigan Considers Regulating Collaborative DivorceThe phrase “Collaborative Divorce” has been something of a trend among family lawyers over the past decade. Informal organizations like the Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan, exist to offer training in non-adversarial conflict resolution and help people find trained attorneys and professionals. But there has been no law regulating the practice. Now the Michigan legislature is considering a bill that would formalize and regulate the process. (more…)

Michigan Lets Biological Parents Skip Court for Adoptions

Parents can now give up their children privatelyChoosing to give up a child is one of the hardest decisions a parent can make, especially when the decision requires her to publicly declare her desire to terminate her rights. But a new law in Michigan will give parents and guardians the option to make that decision privately while still protecting their rights. (more…)

Can I Lose Custody of My Kids Because I Get Sick?

Can I lose custody of my kids because I'm disabled?It may be hard to believe, but over 10,000 Americans received Social Security disability insurance in 2013. Another 26.2% of Americans suffer from mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety. So what happens when disability intersects with the family court? Can you really lose custody of your children just because you get sick or injured? (more…)

Custody for LGBT Families is Complicated. Here’s Why.

Michigan Considers Marriage EqualityThe Michigan Marriage Equality trial started Tuesday in the United States District Court in Detroit. It is scheduled to continue for 8 days and is focusing so far on the ability and challenges for LGBT couples raising children. The Free Press summarized Wednesday’s testimony by University of Michigan law professor Vivek Sankaran, saying

“When a parent in a same-sex relationship dies, the surviving partner faces a quagmire of legal hurdles to gain custody of any kids.”

Here’s why.

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Confusion Abounds Around the Revocation of Paternity Act

Courts are confused about the Revocation of Paternity ActMichigan’s Revocation of Paternity Act (Revocation Act), which was passed in 2012, has reached the Court of Appeals, and the result has been a lot of judicial confusion and disagreement. The most recent appeals decision only added to the confusion with three separate opinions that gave no guidance to family law practitioners. (more…)