Child Custody Act of 1970

             CHILD CUSTODY ACT OF 1970
                                        Act 91 of 1970


  AN ACT to declare the inherent rights of minor  children;  to  establish
rights and duties  to  their  custody,  support,  and  parenting  time  in
disputed actions; to establish rights and duties to provide support for  a
child  after  the  child  reaches  the  age  of  majority  under   certain
circumstances; to provide for certain procedure and appeals; and to repeal
certain acts and parts of acts.

  History: 1970, Act 91, Eff. Apr. 1, 1971;--Am. 1990, Act 245, Imd.  Eff.
Oct. 10, 1990;--Am. 1996, Act 19, Eff. June 1, 1996.

                The People of the State of Michigan enact:

MCL 722.21

                CHILD CUSTODY ACT OF 1970 (Act 91 of 1970)

722.21  Child custody act; short title.

  Sec. 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the  "child  custody
act of 1970".

  History: 1970, Act 91, Eff. Apr. 1, 1971.

MCL 722.22

                CHILD CUSTODY ACT OF 1970 (Act 91 of 1970)

722.22  Definitions.

  Sec. 2. As used in this act:

  (a)  "Agency"  means  any   legally   authorized   public   or   private
organization, or governmental unit or official, whether of this  state  or
of another state or country, concerned in the welfare of  minor  children,
including a licensed child placement agency.

  (b) "Attorney" means, if appointed to represent a child under this  act,
an attorney serving  as  the  child's  legal  advocate  in  a  traditional
attorney-client relationship with the child, as governed by  the  Michigan
rules of professional conduct. An attorney defined under this  subdivision
owes the same duties of undivided loyalty,  confidentiality,  and  zealous
representation of the child's expressed wishes as the attorney would to an
adult client.

  (c) "Child" means minor child and children. Subject to  section 4a,  for
purposes of providing support, child includes a  child  and  children  who
have reached 18 years of age.

  (d) "Guardian ad litem" means an individual whom the court  appoints  to
assist the court in determining the child's best interests. A guardian  ad
litem does not need to be an attorney.

  (e) "Lawyer-guardian ad litem" means an attorney appointed under section
4. A lawyer-guardian ad litem represents the child, and has the powers and
duties, as set forth in section 4.

  (f) "Third person" means any individual other than a parent.

  History: 1970, Act 91, Eff. Apr. 1, 1971;--Am. 1990, Act 245, Imd.  Eff.
Oct. 10, 1990;--Am. 1998, Act 482, Eff. Mar. 1, 1999.

MCL 722.23

                CHILD CUSTODY ACT OF 1970 (Act 91 of 1970)

722.23  "Best interests of the child" defined.

  Sec. 3. As used in this act, "best interests of the child" means the sum
total of the following factors to be considered, evaluated, and determined
by the court:

  (a) The love, affection, and other emotional ties existing  between  the
parties involved and the child.

  (b) The capacity and disposition of the parties  involved  to  give  the
child love, affection, and guidance and  to  continue  the  education  and
raising of the child in his or her religion or creed, if any.

  (c) The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to provide  the
child with food, clothing, medical care or other remedial care  recognized
and permitted under the laws of this state in place of medical  care,  and
other material needs.

  (d) The length of time the child has lived  in  a  stable,  satisfactory
environment, and the desirability of maintaining continuity.

  (e) The permanence, as a  family  unit,  of  the  existing  or  proposed
custodial home or homes.

  (f) The moral fitness of the parties involved.

  (g) The mental and physical health of the parties involved.

  (h) The home, school, and community record of the child.

  (i) The reasonable preference of the child, if the court  considers  the
child to be of sufficient age to express preference.

  (j) The willingness and ability of each of the parties to facilitate and
encourage a close and continuing  parent-child  relationship  between  the
child and the other parent or the child and the parents.

  (k) Domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence  was  directed
against or witnessed by the child.

  (l) Any other factor considered  by  the  court  to  be  relevant  to  a
particular child custody dispute.

  History: 1970, Act 91, Eff. Apr. 1, 1971;--Am. 1980, Act 434, Imd.  Eff.
Jan. 14, 1981;--Am. 1993, Act 259, Imd. Eff. Nov. 29, 1993.

MCL 722.24

                CHILD CUSTODY ACT OF 1970 (Act 91 of 1970)

722.24  Child  custody  disputes;  powers   of   court;   appointment   of
  lawyer-guardian ad litem.

  Sec. 4. (1) In all actions involving dispute of a minor child's custody,
the court shall declare the child's  inherent  rights  and  establish  the
rights and duties as to the child's custody, support, and  parenting  time
in accordance with this act.

  (2) If, at any time in the proceeding, the  court  determines  that  the
child's best interests are inadequately represented, the court may appoint
a lawyer-guardian ad litem to represent the child.  A  lawyer-guardian  ad
litem represents the child and has powers and duties in relation  to  that
representation as set forth in section 17d of chapter XIIA of 1939 PA 288,
MCL 712A.17d. All provisions of  section  17d  of  chapter  XIIA  of  1939
PA 288, MCL 712A.17d, apply to a lawyer-guardian ad litem appointed  under
this act.

  (3) In a proceeding in which a lawyer-guardian  ad  litem  represents  a
child, he or she may file a written report and recommendation.  The  court
may read the report and recommendation.  The  court  shall  not,  however,
admit the report and  recommendation  into  evidence  unless  all  parties
stipulate the admission. The parties  may  make  use  of  the  report  and
recommendation for purposes of a settlement conference.

  (4) After a determination of ability to pay, the court may assess all or
part of the costs and reasonable fees  of  the  lawyer-guardian  ad  litem
against 1 or more of the parties involved in the  proceedings  or  against
the money allocated from  marriage  license  fees  for  family  counseling
services under section 3 of 1887 PA 128, MCL 551.103. A lawyer-guardian ad
litem appointed under this section shall not be  paid  a  fee  unless  the
court first receives and approves the fee.

  History: 1970, Act 91, Eff.  Apr.  1,  1971;--Am.  1996,  Act  19,  Eff.
June 1, 1996;--Am. 1998, Act 482, Eff. Mar. 1, 1999.

MCL 722.24a

                CHILD CUSTODY ACT OF 1970 (Act 91 of 1970)

722.24a  Support  of  child  after  child  reaches  18   years   of   age;
  circumstances.

  Sec. 4a. (1) The court  may  order  support  for  a  child  pursuant  to
section 7 to provide support after the child reaches 18 years  of  age  as
provided in this section.

  (2) Beginning on the effective date of this section, the court may order
support for the time a child is  regularly  attending  high  school  on  a
full-time basis with a reasonable  expectation  of  completing  sufficient
credits to graduate from high school while residing on a  full-time  basis
with the payee of support or at an institution, but in no case  after  the
child reaches  19 years  and  6 months  of  age.  A  complaint  or  motion
requesting support as provided in this section may be filed  at  any  time
before the child reaches 19 years and 6 months of age.

  (3) A provision contained in a judgment or an order entered  under  this
act before the effective date  of  this  section  that  provides  for  the
support of a child after the child reaches 18 years  of  age,  without  an
agreement of the parties as described in  subsection  (4),  is  valid  and
enforceable to the extent the provision provides support for the child for
the time the child is regularly attending high school on a full-time basis
with a reasonable expectation of completing sufficient credits to graduate
from high school while residing on a full-time basis  with  the  payee  of
support or at an institution, but in  no  case  after  the  child  reaches
19 years and 6 months of  age.  This  subsection  shall  not  require  any
payment of support for a child after the child reaches 18 years of age for
any period between November 8, 1989 and the effective date of this section
or  reimbursement  of  support  paid  between  November 8,  1989  and  the
effective date of this section in those judicial  circuits  that  did  not
enforce support for a child after the child reached 18 years of age during
the period between  November 8,  1989  and  the  effective  date  of  this
section.

  (4) Notwithstanding subsection (2), a provision contained in a  judgment
or an order entered under this act before, on,  and  after  the  effective
date of this section that provides for the support of a  child  after  the
child reaches 18 years of age is valid and enforceable if 1 or more of the
following apply:

  (a) The provision is contained in the judgment or order by agreement  of
the parties as stated in the judgment or order.

  (b) The provision is contained in the judgment or order by agreement  of
the parties as evidenced by the approval of the substance of the  judgment
or order by the parties or their attorneys.

  (c) The provision is contained in  the  judgment  or  order  by  written
agreement signed by the parties.

  (d) The provision  is  contained  in  the  judgment  or  order  by  oral
agreement of the parties as stated on the record by the parties  or  their
attorneys.

  History: Add. 1990, Act 245, Imd. Eff. Oct. 10, 1990.

MCL 722.25

                CHILD CUSTODY ACT OF 1970 (Act 91 of 1970)

722.25  Child custody disputes; controlling interests, presumption;  award
  of custody to parent convicted of criminal sexual conduct.

  Sec. 5. (1) If a child custody dispute is between the  parents,  between
agencies, or between third  persons,  the  best  interests  of  the  child
control. If the child custody dispute is between the parent or parents and
an agency or a third  person,  the  court  shall  presume  that  the  best
interests of the child are served by awarding custody  to  the  parent  or
parents, unless the  contrary  is  established  by  clear  and  convincing
evidence.

  (2) Notwithstanding other provisions of this act,  if  a  child  custody
dispute involves a child who is conceived as the result of acts for  which
1 of the child's  biological  parents  is  convicted  of  criminal  sexual
conduct as provided in sections 520a to 520e  and  520g  of  the  Michigan
penal  code,  Act  No. 328   of   the   Public   Acts   of   1931,   being
sections 750.520a to 750.520e and 750.520g of the Michigan Compiled  Laws,
the court shall not award custody to the convicted biological parent. This
subsection does not apply to a conviction under section 520d(1)(a) of  the
Michigan penal code, Act No. 328 of the Public Acts of 1931, being section
750.520d of the Michigan Compiled Laws. This subsection does not apply if,
after the date of the  conviction,  the  biological  parents  cohabit  and
establish a mutual custodial environment for the child.

  (3) Notwithstanding other provisions of this act, if  an  individual  is
convicted of criminal sexual conduct as provided in sections 520a to  520e
and 520g of Act No. 328 of the Public Acts of 1931 and the victim  is  the
individual's child, the court shall not award custody of that child  or  a
sibling of that child to that individual, unless both  the  child's  other
parent and, if  the  court  considers  the  child  or  sibling  to  be  of
sufficient age to express his or her desires, the child or sibling consent
to the custody.

  History: 1970, Act 91, Eff. Apr. 1, 1971;--Am. 1993, Act 259, Imd.  Eff.
Nov. 29, 1993.

MCL 722.26

                CHILD CUSTODY ACT OF 1970 (Act 91 of 1970)

722.26  Liberal construction and application of act;  purpose;  provisions
  applicable to child custody disputes and actions;  precedence  of  other
  actions; submission of action; habeas corpus or warrant.

  Sec. 6. (1) This act is equitable  in  nature  and  shall  be  liberally
construed and applied to establish promptly the rights of  the  child  and
the rights and duties of the parties involved. This  act  applies  to  all
circuit court child custody disputes  and  actions,  whether  original  or
incidental to  other  actions.  Those  disputes  and  actions  shall  have
precedence for hearing and assignment for trial over other civil  actions.

  (2) Except as otherwise provided in section 6b or  6e,  if  the  circuit
court of this state does not have prior  continuing  jurisdiction  over  a
child, the action shall be submitted to the circuit court  of  the  county
where the child resides or may be found  by  complaint  or  complaint  and
motion for order to show cause. An application for a writ of habeas corpus
or for a warrant in its place to obtain custody of a child  shall  not  be
granted unless it appears that this act is inadequate and  ineffective  to
resolve the particular child custody dispute.

  History: 1970, Act 91, Eff. Apr. 1, 1971;--Am. 1990, Act 315, Imd.  Eff.
Dec. 20, 1990;--Am. 1993, Act 259, Imd. Eff. Nov. 29, 1993.

MCL 722.26a

                CHILD CUSTODY ACT OF 1970 (Act 91 of 1970)

722.26a  Joint custody.

  Sec. 6a. (1) In custody disputes between parents, the parents  shall  be
advised of joint custody. At the request of either parent, the court shall
consider an award of joint custody, and shall  state  on  the  record  the
reasons for granting or denying a request. In other  cases  joint  custody
may be considered by the court. The court shall  determine  whether  joint
custody is in the best interest of the child by considering the  following
factors:

  (a) The factors enumerated in section 3.

  (b) Whether the parents will be able to cooperate  and  generally  agree
concerning important decisions affecting the welfare of the child.

  (2) If the parents agree on joint custody, the court shall  award  joint
custody unless the court determines on the record, based  upon  clear  and
convincing evidence, that joint custody is not in the  best  interests  of
the child.

  (3) If the court awards joint custody, the  court  may  include  in  its
award a statement regarding when the child shall reside with each  parent,
or may provide that physical custody be shared by the parents in a  manner
to assure the child continuing contact with both parents.

  (4) During the time a child resides with a  parent,  that  parent  shall
decide all routine matters concerning the child.

  (5) If there is a dispute regarding residency, the court shall state the
basis for a residency award on the record or in writing.

  (6) Joint custody shall  not  eliminate  the  responsibility  for  child
support. Each parent shall be responsible for child support based  on  the
needs of the child and the actual resources of each parent.  If  a  parent
would otherwise be unable to maintain adequate housing for the  child  and
the other parent has sufficient resources, the court  may  order  modified
support payments for a portion of housing expenses even  during  a  period
when the child is not  residing  in  the  home  of  the  parent  receiving
support. An order of joint custody, in and of itself, shall not constitute
grounds for modifying a support order.

  (7) As used in this section, "joint custody" means an order of the court
in which 1 or both of the following is specified:

  (a) That the child shall reside alternately for  specific  periods  with
each of the parents.

  (b) That the parents shall share decision-making  authority  as  to  the
important decisions affecting the welfare of the child.

  History: Add. 1980, Act 434, Imd. Eff. Jan. 14, 1981.

MCL 722.26b

                CHILD CUSTODY ACT OF 1970 (Act 91 of 1970)

722.26b  Standing of guardian or limited guardian of child to bring action
  for  custody  of  child;  filing  of  action;   stay   of   proceedings;
  continuation  of  order  in  force;  copy  of  judgment  or   order   of
  disposition; assignment of judge.

  Sec. 6b. (1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (2), a  guardian
or limited guardian of a child has standing to bring an action for custody
of the child pursuant to this act.

  (2) A limited guardian of a child does not have  standing  to  bring  an
action for custody of the child if the parent or parents of the child have
substantially  complied  with  a  limited  guardianship   placement   plan
regarding the child entered into pursuant to section 424a of  the  revised
probate code, Act No. 642 of  the  Public  Acts  of  1978,  being  section
700.424a of the Michigan Compiled Laws.

  (3) If the circuit court does not  have  prior  continuing  jurisdiction
over the child, a child custody action brought by a  guardian  or  limited
guardian of the child shall be filed in the circuit court in the county in
which the probate court appointed the guardian.

  (4) Upon the filing of a child custody action brought by a  guardian  or
limited guardian of the child,  all  guardianship  proceedings  concerning
that child in the probate court shall be stayed until disposition  of  the
child custody action.  An  order  of  the  probate  court  concerning  the
guardianship of the child shall continue in force until superseded  by  an
order of the circuit court. If the circuit court  awards  custody  of  the
child, it shall send a copy of the judgment or order of disposition to the
probate court in  the  county  that  appointed  the  guardian  or  limited
guardian for the child.

  (5) If a guardian or limited guardian of a child brings a child  custody
action, the circuit court shall request  the  supreme  court  pursuant  to
section 225 of the revised judicature act of  1961,  Act  No. 236  of  the
Public Acts of 1961, being section 600.225 of the Michigan Compiled  Laws,
to assign the judge of the probate court who appointed  that  guardian  or
limited guardian to serve as a judge of the circuit  court  and  hear  the
child custody action.

  History: Add. 1990, Act 315, Imd. Eff.  Dec. 20,  1990;--Am.  1993,  Act
259, Imd. Eff. Nov. 29, 1993.

MCL 722.26c

                CHILD CUSTODY ACT OF 1970 (Act 91 of 1970)

722.26c  Custody action by third person; conditions.

  Sec. 6c. (1) A third person may bring an action for custody of  a  child
if the court finds either of the following:

  (a) Both of the following:

  (i) The child was placed for adoption with the third  person  under  the
adoption laws of this or another state, and the placement order  is  still
in effect at the time the action is filed.

  (ii) After the placement, the child has resided with  the  third  person
for a minimum of 6 months.

  (b) All of the following:

  (i) The child's biological  parents  have  never  been  married  to  one
another.

  (ii) The child's parent who has custody of the child dies or is  missing
and the other parent has not been granted legal custody under court order.

  (iii) The third person is related to the child within the  fifth  degree
by marriage, blood, or adoption.

  (2) A third person shall include with an action filed under this section
both of the following:

  (a) An affidavit setting forth facts relative to the  existence  of  the
prerequisites required by subsection (1)(a) or (b).

  (b) Notice that a defense or objection to  a  third  person's  right  to
bring an action for custody may be raised as an affirmative defense or  by
a motion for summary disposition based on lack of standing as provided  in
the Michigan court rules.

  History: Add. 1993, Act 259, Imd. Eff. Nov. 29, 1993.

  Compiler's note: Section 2 of Act No. 259 of the  Public  Acts  of  1993
provided:

  "Sections 6c to 6e as added by  this  amendatory  act  are  remedial  in
nature and apply retroactively."

MCL 722.26d

                CHILD CUSTODY ACT OF 1970 (Act 91 of 1970)

722.26d  Custody action by third person; jurisdiction.

  Sec. 6d. A third person filing an action under section 6c shall  proceed
as follows:

  (a) If the circuit court has continuing jurisdiction over the child, the
action  shall  be  filed  in  the  circuit  court  that   has   continuing
jurisdiction over the child.

  (b) If the circuit court does not have continuing jurisdiction over  the
child, the action shall be filed in the circuit court in the county  where
the child has resided for the 6 months immediately preceding the filing of
the action or, if the child has not resided in any county for the 6 months
immediately preceding the filing of the action, the action shall be  filed
in the circuit court in the county having the most significant  connection
with the child.

  History: Add. 1993, Act 259, Imd. Eff. Nov. 29, 1993.

  Compiler's note: Section 2 of Act No. 259 of the  Public  Acts  of  1993
provided:

  "Sections 6c to 6e as added by  this  amendatory  act  are  remedial  in
nature and apply retroactively."

MCL 722.26e

                CHILD CUSTODY ACT OF 1970 (Act 91 of 1970)

722.26e  Custody action by third person; notice; powers of court.

  Sec. 6e. (1) A third person filing an action under section 6c shall send
notice of the action to each party who has legal custody of the child  and
to each parent whose parental rights have not been terminated.

  (2) In addition to other powers of the court, in an action under section
6c, the court may do any of the following:

  (a) Appoint an attorney for a parent.

  (b) Order that a necessary and reasonable amount of money be paid to the
court for reimbursement of a party's attorney.  A  party  may  request  an
order under this subdivision. The moving party shall allege facts  showing
that the party is otherwise unable to bear the expense of the action.  The
court shall require the disclosure of  attorney  fees  or  other  expenses
paid.

  (c) The court may award costs and fees as provided  in  section 2591  of
the revised judicature act of 1961, Act No. 236  of  the  Public  Acts  of
1961, being section 600.2591 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.

  History: Add. 1993, Act 259, Imd. Eff. Nov. 29, 1993.

  Compiler's note: Section 2 of Act No. 259 of the  Public  Acts  of  1993
provided:

  "Sections 6c to 6e as added by  this  amendatory  act  are  remedial  in
nature and apply retroactively."

MCL 722.27

                CHILD CUSTODY ACT OF 1970 (Act 91 of 1970)

722.27  Child custody disputes; powers of court;  support  order;  amount;
  deviation from formula; provisions of support order; "support"  defined;
  health care coverage; enforcement of judgment or order.

  Sec. 7. (1) If a child custody dispute has been submitted to the circuit
court as an original action under this act or has arisen incidentally from
another action in the circuit court or an order or judgment of the circuit
court, for the best interests of the child the court may do 1 or  more  of
the following:

  (a) Award the custody of the child to 1 or more of the parties  involved
or to others and provide for payment of support for the child,  until  the
child reaches 18 years of age. Subject to section 4a, the court  may  also
order support as provided in this section for a  child  after  he  or  she
reaches 18 years of age. The court may require that support payments shall
be made through the friend of the court or court clerk.

  (b) Provide for reasonable parenting time of the child  by  the  parties
involved, by the maternal or  paternal  grandparents,  or  by  others,  by
general or specific terms and conditions. Parenting time of the  child  by
the parents is governed by section 7a.

  (c) Modify or amend its previous judgments or orders  for  proper  cause
shown or because of change of circumstances until  the  child  reaches  18
years of age and, subject to section 4a, until the child reaches 19  years
and 6 months of age. The court shall not  modify  or  amend  its  previous
judgments or orders or issue a new order so as to change  the  established
custodial environment of a child  unless  there  is  presented  clear  and
convincing evidence that it is in the best  interest  of  the  child.  The
custodial environment of a child is established  if  over  an  appreciable
time the child naturally looks to the custodian in  that  environment  for
guidance, discipline, the necessities of life, and parental  comfort.  The
age of the child, the physical environment, and  the  inclination  of  the
custodian and the child as to permanency of the relationship shall also be
considered.

  (d) Utilize a guardian ad litem or the community resources in behavioral
sciences and other professions in the investigation and study  of  custody
disputes and consider their recommendations  for  the  resolution  of  the
disputes.

  (e) Take any other action considered to be  necessary  in  a  particular
child custody dispute.

  (f)  Upon  petition  consider  the  reasonable  grandparenting  time  of
maternal or paternal grandparents  as  provided  in  section  7b  and,  if
denied, make a record of such denial.

  (2) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the court shall  order
support in an amount  determined  by  application  of  the  child  support
formula developed by the state friend of the court bureau. The  court  may
enter an order that deviates from the formula if the court determines from
the facts of the case that application of the child support formula  would
be unjust or inappropriate and sets forth in writing or on the record  all
of the following:

  (a) The support amount determined by application of  the  child  support
formula.

  (b) How the support order deviates from the child support formula.

  (c) The value of property or  other  support  awarded  in  lieu  of  the
payment of child support, if applicable.

  (d) The reasons why application of the child support  formula  would  be
unjust or inappropriate in the case.

  (3) Subsection (2) does not prohibit the court from entering  a  support
order that is agreed to by the parties and that deviates  from  the  child
support formula, if the requirements of subsection (2) are met.

  (4) Beginning January 1, 1991, each support order entered, modified,  or
amended by the court shall provide that each party shall keep  the  office
of the friend of the court informed of both of the following:

  (a) The name and address of his or her current source of income. As used
in this subdivision, "source of income" means  that  term  as  defined  in
section 2 of the support and parenting time enforcement act, 1982 PA  295,
MCL 552.602.

  (b) Any health care coverage that is  available  to  him  or  her  as  a
benefit of employment or that is maintained by him or her; the name of the
insurance  company,  health  care  organization,  or  health   maintenance
organization; the policy, certificate, or contract number; and  the  names
and birth dates of the persons for  whose  benefit  he  or  she  maintains
health care coverage under the policy, certificate, or contract.

  (5) For the purposes of this act, "support" may include payment  of  the
expenses of medical, dental, and other health care, child  care  expenses,
and educational expenses. The court shall require 1 or both parents  of  a
child who is the subject of a petition under this  section  to  obtain  or
maintain any  health  care  coverage  that  is  available  to  them  at  a
reasonable cost, as a benefit of employment, for the benefit of the child.
If a parent is self-employed and maintains health care coverage, the court
shall require the parent to obtain or maintain dependent coverage for  the
benefit of the child, if available at a reasonable cost.

  (6) A judgment or order entered under this act providing for the support
of a child is enforceable as provided in the support  and  parenting  time
enforcement act, 1982 PA 295, MCL 552.601 to 552.650.

  History: 1970, Act 91, Eff. Apr. 1, 1971;--Am. 1980, Act 161, Imd.  Eff.
June 18, 1980;--Am. 1985, Act 215, Eff. Mar. 1, 1986;--Am. 1988, Act  377,
Eff. Mar. 30, 1989;--Am. 1989, Act  275,  Imd.  Eff.  Dec. 26,  1989;--Am.
1990, Act 245, Imd. Eff. Oct. 10, 1990;--Am.  1990,  Act  293,  Imd.  Eff.
Dec. 14, 1990;--Am. 1996, Act 19, Eff. June 1, 1996;--Am. 1998,  Act  482,
Eff. Mar. 1, 1999.

MCL 722.27a

                CHILD CUSTODY ACT OF 1970 (Act 91 of 1970)

722.27a  Parenting time.

  Sec. 7a. (1) Parenting time shall be granted in accordance with the best
interests of the child. It is presumed to be in the best  interests  of  a
child for the child to have a strong relationship with both of his or  her
parents. Except as otherwise provided  in  this  section,  parenting  time
shall be granted to a parent in a frequency, duration, and type reasonably
calculated to promote a strong relationship  between  the  child  and  the
parent granted parenting time.

  (2) If the parents of a child agree on parenting time terms,  the  court
shall order the parenting time terms unless the court  determines  on  the
record by clear and convincing evidence that the parenting time terms  are
not in the best interests of the child.

  (3) A child has a right to parenting time with a  parent  unless  it  is
shown on the record  by  clear  and  convincing  evidence  that  it  would
endanger the child's physical, mental, or emotional health.

  (4) Notwithstanding other  provisions  of  this  act,  if  a  proceeding
regarding parenting time involves a child who is conceived as  the  result
of acts for which 1 of the child's  biological  parents  is  convicted  of
criminal sexual conduct as provided in sections 520a to 520e and  520g  of
the Michigan penal code, Act No. 328 of the Public  Acts  of  1931,  being
sections 750.520a to 750.520e and 750.520g of the Michigan Compiled  Laws,
the court shall not grant  parenting  time  to  the  convicted  biological
parent. This subsection does not  apply  to  a  conviction  under  section
520d(1)(a) of Act No. 328 of  the  Public  Acts  of  1931,  being  section
750.520d of the Michigan Compiled Laws. This subsection does not apply if,
after the date of the  conviction,  the  biological  parents  cohabit  and
establish a mutual custodial environment for the child.

  (5) Notwithstanding other provisions of this act, if  an  individual  is
convicted of criminal sexual conduct as provided in sections 520a to  520e
and 520g of Act No. 328 of the Public Acts of 1931 and the victim  is  the
individual's child, the court shall not grant  parenting  time  with  that
child or a sibling of that child  to  that  individual,  unless  both  the
child's other parent and, if the court considers the child or  sibling  to
be of sufficient age to express his or her desires, the child  or  sibling
consent to the parenting time.

  (6) The court may consider the following factors  when  determining  the
frequency, duration, and type of parenting time to be granted:

  (a) The existence of any special circumstances or needs of the child.

  (b) Whether the child is a nursing child less than 6 months of  age,  or
less than 1 year of  age  if  the  child  receives  substantial  nutrition
through nursing.

  (c) The reasonable likelihood of abuse or neglect of  the  child  during
parenting time.

  (d) The reasonable likelihood of abuse of a parent  resulting  from  the
exercise of parenting time.

  (e) The inconvenience to, and burdensome impact or effect on, the  child
of traveling for purposes of parenting time.

  (f) Whether a parent can reasonably be expected  to  exercise  parenting
time in accordance with the court order.

  (g) Whether a  parent  has  frequently  failed  to  exercise  reasonable
parenting time.

  (h) The threatened or actual detention of the child with the  intent  to
retain or conceal the child from the other parent or from a  third  person
who has legal custody. A custodial parent's temporary residence  with  the
child in a domestic violence shelter shall not be construed as evidence of
the custodial parent's intent to retain or  conceal  the  child  from  the
other parent.

  (i) Any other relevant factors.

  (7) Parenting time shall be granted in specific terms  if  requested  by
either party at any time.

  (8)  A  parenting  time  order  may  contain  any  reasonable  terms  or
conditions  that  facilitate  the  orderly  and  meaningful  exercise   of
parenting time by a parent, including 1 or more of the following:

  (a) Division of the responsibility to transport the child.

  (b) Division of the cost of transporting the child.

  (c) Restrictions on the presence of third persons during parenting time.

  (d) Requirements that the  child  be  ready  for  parenting  time  at  a
specific time.

  (e) Requirements that the parent arrive for parenting  time  and  return
the child from parenting time at specific times.

  (f) Requirements that parenting time occur in the presence  of  a  third
person or agency.

  (g) Requirements that a party post a bond to assure  compliance  with  a
parenting time order.

  (h) Requirements of reasonable  notice  when  parenting  time  will  not
occur.

  (i) Any other reasonable condition determined to be appropriate  in  the
particular case.

  (9) During the time a child is with a parent to whom parenting time  has
been awarded, that parent shall decide all routine matters concerning  the
child.

  (10) Prior to entry of a temporary order, a parent may seek an ex  parte
interim order concerning parenting time. If the court enters an  ex  parte
interim order concerning parenting time, the party on whose motion the  ex
parte interim order is entered shall have a true copy of the order  served
on the friend of the court and the opposing party.

  (11) If the opposing party objects to the ex parte interim order, he  or
she shall file with the clerk of the court within 14 days after  receiving
notice of the order a written objection to,  or  a  motion  to  modify  or
rescind, the ex parte interim order. The opposing party shall have a  true
copy of the written objection or motion served on the friend of the  court
and the party who obtained the ex parte interim order.

  (12) If the opposing party files a written objection  to  the  ex  parte
interim order, the friend of  the  court  shall  attempt  to  resolve  the
dispute within 14 days  after  receiving  it.  If  the  matter  cannot  be
resolved, the friend of the court shall provide the opposing party with  a
form motion and order with written instructions for their use in modifying
or rescinding the ex parte order without assistance  of  counsel.  If  the
opposing party wishes to proceed without assistance of counsel, the friend
of the court shall schedule a hearing with the court that  shall  be  held
within 21 days after the filing of the motion. If the opposing party files
a motion to modify or rescind the ex parte interim order  and  requests  a
hearing, the court shall resolve the dispute  within  28  days  after  the
hearing is requested.

  (13) An ex parte interim order issued under this section  shall  contain
the following notice:

                                  NOTICE:

  1. You may file a written objection to this order or a motion to  modify
or rescind this order. You must file the written objection or motion  with
the clerk of the court within 14 days after  you  were  served  with  this
order. You must serve a true copy of the objection or motion on the friend
of the court and the party who obtained the order.

  2. If you file a written objection, the friend of the court must try  to
resolve the dispute. If the friend of the court cannot resolve the dispute
and if you  wish  to  bring  the  matter  before  the  court  without  the
assistance of counsel, the friend of the court must provide you with  form
pleadings and written instructions and must schedule a  hearing  with  the
court.

  History: Add. 1988, Act 377, Eff. Mar. 30,  1989;--Am.  1993,  Act  259,
Imd. Eff. Nov. 29, 1993;--Am. 1996, Act 19, Eff. June 1, 1996.

  Compiler's note: Former section 722.27a, which pertained  to  action  by
parent of deceased father or mother  for  visitation  of  unmarried  minor
child, was repealed by Act 161 of 1980, Imd. Eff. June 18, 1980.

MCL 722.27b

                CHILD CUSTODY ACT OF 1970 (Act 91 of 1970)

722.27b  Order for grandparenting time in child  custody  dispute;  action
  for  grandparenting  time  by  parent  of  deceased  natural  parent  of
  unmarried child; effect  of  adoption  by  stepparent;  commencement  of
  action in circuit court; affidavit; notice; opposing affidavit; hearing;
  basis for entry of order; entry of order for parents of putative father;
  condition; record; frequency  of  filing  complaint  or  motion  seeking
  order; attorney fees; order restricting movement of  grandchild;  effect
  of entry of order; modifying or terminating order.

  Sec. 7b. (1) Except as provided in this subsection, a grandparent of the
child may seek an order for grandparenting time in the manner set forth in
this section only if a child custody dispute with respect to that child is
pending before the court. If a natural parent of  an  unmarried  child  is
deceased, a parent of the deceased  person  may  commence  an  action  for
grandparenting time. Adoption of the child by a stepparent under chapter X
of Act No. 288 of the Public Acts of 1939, being sections 710.21 to 710.70
of the Michigan Compiled Laws, does not terminate the right of a parent of
the deceased person to commence an action for grandparenting time.

  (2) As  used  in  this  section,  "child  custody  dispute"  includes  a
proceeding in which any of the following occurs:

  (a) The marriage of the  child's  parents  is  declared  invalid  or  is
dissolved by the court, or a court enters a  decree  of  legal  separation
with regard to the marriage.

  (b) Legal custody of the child is  given  to  a  party  other  than  the
child's parent, or the child is placed outside of and does not  reside  in
the home of a parent, excluding any child who has been placed for adoption
with other than a stepparent, or whose adoption by other than a stepparent
has been legally finalized.

  (3) A grandparent seeking a grandparenting time order  may  commence  an
action for grandparenting time, by complaint or complaint and  motion  for
an order to show cause, in the circuit court in the county  in  which  the
grandchild resides. If a child custody dispute is pending, the order shall
be sought by motion for an order to show cause. The  complaint  or  motion
shall be accompanied by an affidavit setting forth  facts  supporting  the
requested order. The grandparent shall give notice of the filing  to  each
party who has legal custody  of  the  grandchild.  A  party  having  legal
custody may file an opposing affidavit. A hearing shall  be  held  by  the
court on its own motion or if a party so requests. At the hearing, parties
submitting affidavits shall be allowed an opportunity to be heard. At  the
conclusion of the hearing, if the court finds  that  it  is  in  the  best
interests of the child to enter a grandparenting  time  order,  the  court
shall enter an order providing for reasonable grandparenting time  of  the
child by the grandparent by general or specific terms and conditions. If a
hearing is not held, the court shall enter  a  grandparenting  time  order
only upon a finding that grandparenting time is in the best  interests  of
the child. A grandparenting time  order  shall  not  be  entered  for  the
parents of a putative father unless the father has acknowledged  paternity
in writing, has been adjudicated to be the father by a court of  competent
jurisdiction, or has contributed regularly to the support of the child  or
children. The court shall make a record of the reasons for a denial  of  a
requested grandparenting time order.

  (4) A grandparent may not file more than once every 2  years,  absent  a
showing of good cause, a complaint or motion seeking a grandparenting time
order. If the court finds there is good cause to allow  a  grandparent  to
file more than 1 complaint or  motion  under  this  section  in  a  2-year
period, the court shall allow the filing and shall consider the  complaint
or motion. The court may order reasonable attorney fees to the  prevailing
party.

  (5) The court shall not enter an order restricting the movement  of  the
grandchild if the restriction is solely for the purpose  of  allowing  the
grandparent to exercise the rights  conferred  in  a  grandparenting  time
order.

  (6) A grandparenting time order entered in accordance with this  section
shall not be considered to have created parental rights in the  person  or
persons to whom grandparenting time rights are granted.  The  entry  of  a
grandparenting  time  order  shall  not  prevent  a  court  of   competent
jurisdiction from acting upon the  custody  of  the  child,  the  parental
rights of the child, or the adoption of the child.

  (7)  The  court  may  enter  an  order  modifying   or   terminating   a
grandparenting time order whenever such a modification or  termination  is
in the best interests of the child.

  History: Add. 1982, Act 340, Imd. Eff. Dec. 17, 1982;--Am. 1996, Act 19,
Eff. June 1, 1996.

MCL 722.28

                CHILD CUSTODY ACT OF 1970 (Act 91 of 1970)

722.28  Child custody disputes; appeal, grounds.

  Sec. 8. To expedite the resolution of a child custody dispute by  prompt
and final adjudication, all orders and  judgments  of  the  circuit  court
shall be affirmed on appeal unless the trial judge made findings  of  fact
against the great weight of evidence or  committed  a  palpable  abuse  of
discretion or a clear legal error on a major issue.

  History: 1970, Act 91, Eff. Apr. 1, 1971.

MCL 722.29

                CHILD CUSTODY ACT OF 1970 (Act 91 of 1970)

722.29  Repeal.

  Sec. 9. Act No. 192 of the Public Acts of 1873, being section 722.541 of
the Compiled Laws of 1948, is repealed.

  History: 1970, Act 91, Eff. Apr. 1, 1971.

MCL 722.30

                CHILD CUSTODY ACT OF 1970 (Act 91 of 1970)

722.30  Access to records or information by noncustodial parent.

  Sec. 10. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a parent shall  not
be denied access to records or information concerning  his  or  her  child
because the parent is not the child's custodial parent, unless the  parent
is prohibited from having access  to  the  records  or  information  by  a
protective order. As  used  in  this  section,  "records  or  information"
includes, but is not limited to, medical, dental, and school records,  day
care provider's  records,  and  notification  of  meetings  regarding  the
child's education.

  History: Add. 1996, Act 304, Eff. Jan. 1, 1997.

For Further Assistance- Contact the St. Clair County Friend of the Court Office at 810-985-2285.


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