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Michigan Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Michigan on
Q: Should I hire attorney? married 28 years did not participate in divorce process at all. Final 2020(?) Need support!!!

The case is complex; but he did some terrible things prior to filing for divorce which made it impossible for me to hire an attorney; very very long story short -I had a mental breakdown after being served and spent some time at Pine Rest completely unable to participate! He got a default judgment.... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Jun 12, 2021

It's possible, but you have a steep hill to climb, and should absolutely engage an attorney. Your first obstacle would be to set aside the default judgment. Specific rules and criteria apply, as judgments are meant to be final. Not only would you need to convince the court that you had an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Michigan on
Q: I have permanent guardianship of my granddaughter can my daughter write to the court and say she objects to it
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Jun 10, 2021

Your daughter can petition the court to terminate the guardianship. Will she be successful? Hard to say without knowing more. When it comes to children, courts favor stability. The court granted a guardianship for a reason; your daughter would need to show the court some marked improvement in her... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Michigan on
Q: My ex is sole provider we have 50 50 custody. While in her care my daughter overdosed on her meds and smoked pot.

With the other adult they share a home with. Have a drug screen that's positive. How do I keep both children safe.

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Jun 1, 2021

You may need to consider filing an ex parte order or other motion with the court.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Michigan on
Q: Can I move out of Michigan if I’m a non custodial parent? Without the approval from the other parent or court?

I have a parenting schedule written out ready to send to the other parent. I just want to know if I have to have the approval of the other parent or court before I move.

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on May 26, 2021

If you want your parenting schedule entered as an order, you'll need to file the appropriate motion with the court or get an agreement signed by the other parent and entered.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Michigan on
Q: I have sole physical and legal custody of my children, they don't want to go with thier father do I have to make them?

My Gauthier has serious medical issues and her father smokes around her and almost put her in the hospital for it, she refuses to go with him, even has gotten on the phone with him telling him why she's not going, he keeps putting in harms way, she cries and fights to go every time its his... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on May 24, 2021

Is there a parenting time order? You can make a motion to the court about this.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Michigan on
Q: Can the mother sue me for child support if I don’t establish paternity?

I have an 18 week old baby on the way. I want nothing to do with it and I don’t want to establish any paternity rights. Can she take me to court after the baby is born for child support?

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on May 18, 2021

Yes. And if the state funds any of the birth expenses, expect them to come after you.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Michigan on
Q: My sons bio dad wants to take me to court for visitation, what are the chances he will get grated it?

My son is about to turn 11 and they have never met. I tried when my son was younger and bio dad never wanted to he does pay child support and we are a 2 state case. I haven't had any contact with him in 7 years untill today when he messaged me says he's taking me to court. I'm scared... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on May 17, 2021

Contrary to some opinion, judges are not mindless or impractical. Most every family court judge has seen this sort of scenario before. The dad will get some parenting time if he asks for it, and so long as he is appropriate with it. No, the court will not just send your son off on a plane or in a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption and Family Law for Michigan on
Q: My perental rights have been terminated and I l would like to see about getting a open adoption on Michigan?
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on May 10, 2021

Are you looking to adopt a different child? If your parental rights have been terminated, you face a significant uphill battle. First, you have no say in who can adopt your child or children; nor can a court direct it. Second, if your rights have been terminated, you almost certainly are on Central... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Michigan on
Q: I need to know how to get custody of my grandkid my daughter lives with me I

The children have been with me there hole life so has my daughter they won't let me speak so the judge has no ideal that I have raised them .please help my daughter has mental health issues any substance abuse

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on May 10, 2021

What about the father? Depending on what's going on, you could try to pursue a guardianship. But if there is an available father, and custody is not appropriate with mom (your daughter), the father will take priority over you. It doesn't matter if you raised the kids; the court will first... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Michigan on
Q: Can I report a tribal judge for not ruling according to their own laws?

Tribal judge has followed laws to rule favorable for native individual in family court, but when the EXACT (and I mean EXACT) situation was reversed and would have been ruled to favor a white person, completely ignored and ruled the other way. Did not follow tribal code for what things to take into... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on May 6, 2021

You should speak with an attorney versed in the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and Michigan Indian Family Preservation Act (MIFPA). Bottom-line up front is that different rules apply with native american children and families.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Michigan on
Q: Does CPS need a court order to remove my children from my house

There with my sister and I passed a drug test and haven't heard anything what do I do? And removed my children without a court order. Do I have to comply?

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on May 6, 2021

Was drugs the only issue? Have they asked you to do any other services? It sounds like what happened is what's called a voluntary removal - done without court order. If you push the issue, and CPS believes they have grounds for removal, they will get a removal order and file a petition against... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Michigan on
Q: How does the court determine who gets custody of a kid durning a divorce?
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on May 5, 2021

There are 12 "best interest" factors the court uses to determine custody.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Tax Law for Michigan on
Q: If I have full custody of my kids, 365 days. Their dad never has them. Can I claim them both on my taxes?

In the beginning the judge ordered us to split the kids, he takes one and I take the other. But since I got full custody I have been claiming both of them. Is there a tax law that says who ever has them more gets to claim them?

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Apr 29, 2021

Yes there is: if you provide the majority of support over the year, you may claim them. That can be modified by court order (e.g. the judgment of divorce).

Best thing to do would be to file a motion with the court to address this. You could be right in the eyes of the IRS but in violation...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Civil Rights for Michigan on
Q: can i request a new attorney if mines is working with the judge to prolong my kids coming home even if i did everything

my attorney is supposed to work in my defense but shes working with the judge to keep my kids in foster care, even after me completing everything they have asked of me. my last court date was a total mess. nothing was accomplished o n their end so its like they are stagnating me. like i said before... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Apr 28, 2021

Child protective proceedings are an entirely different process, and decisions to move or reunite children are not made quickly. If you are 90 days into the case, I would actually be shocked if you said the court returned the kids to you that quick. The idea is that the court needs to see stability;... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, DUI / DWI and Family Law for Michigan on
Q: My EX wife had full custody of kids can I take full custody from her if she get 4th DUI?

EX wife history, losing first kids, losing license for 15yrs, 3 DUI, 17 yrs ago. After 20 years marriage, witnessed her badly many mental ill, she was fine for 17 years perfect no drugs no alcohol, beautiful loving woman. 2016 she was giving new mental drugs and I don’t know what happened to her... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Apr 27, 2021

What does your judgment of divorce say about legal custody? If you don't have joint legal custody, then if she went to jail, it's possible for the children to be placed in the care of someone else.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Michigan on
Q: I help with a pro Bono lawyer in Wayne cnty for family court, he has violated every order, he has “terminated” my rights

I do not know how to fill out the forms I need assistance but. I need a motion filed. Someone from a legal aid has. Been basically stringing me. Along (an me entrusting I was going to get the help) since November 2020, they have “been filing that motion” since November. I have only seen my... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Apr 23, 2021

You will either need to connect with your legal aid attorney to figure out what's going on or go to the courthouse's legal assistance center for assistance on how to fill out the forms yourself. Other than legal aid, you will be hard pressed to find an attorney willing to take on a family... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law for Michigan on
Q: Emergency Ex-Parte suspending parent time. Do you have to always notify the other party?

This was done and the party was not notified to be able to respond and there was no just cause for it. Estranged Wife was just mad and did this. Motion for hearing dismissed bt Plaintiff. Husband found out by looking on line at court records as he didn't get his son as he was supposed to. Why... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Apr 20, 2021

Ex parte orders, when granted, are entered without notice to the other party. They are, by their nature, emergency motions.

Once entered, you should receive a copy of the order, which has notice requirement language explaining how to object. Without going too far into the logistics, you...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Michigan on
Q: Can I file to termination non custodial parents rights after 6 months of no contact or visits?

Father started seeing our daughter at 4 years of age, court ordered, after I filed for child support. She is now almost 6 years old and he hasn’t seen her in 6 months now, but he still pays support. He doesn’t seem interested in her well being or her education, until he’s in front of the... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Apr 19, 2021

You may have difficulty terminating his parental rights, but have you thought about a step-parent adoption? Your ex may be inclined to voluntarily terminate his rights (and support obligation) in place of your spouse.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Michigan on
Q: Michigan Verbal CPS Safety Plan legally binding?

A little over a month ago CPS (drug allegations and domestic violence allegations) cohorced me into verbally agreeing to a safery plan, placing my kids with my grandparents. Today I decided enough was enough and went to go get my kids. My grandparents wouldn't let me take them! Can they do... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Apr 19, 2021

I wouldn't worry so much about what your grandparents can or cannot do as I would what CPS will do. You run the risk of CPS filing a petition and requesting removal of the children - potentially into foster care, and exposing you to termination of your parental rights.

Make no mistake:...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Michigan on
Q: How can a grand parent get guardianship over their grandchildren?

One parent in jail the other is addicted to drugs

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Apr 7, 2021

Does the child live with the grandparent? Does the father have legal custody? Would the drug-addicted parent agree to guardianship? Is CPS involved? A lot of factors are in play, that you'd have to work through.

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