Custody and Parenting Time - Michigan Prosecuting Attorneys

Report
Susan R. Harvey
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney
Oakland County
What is the role of the
Prosecutor’s Office in
custody and parenting time?
The Law in Paternity Cases (DP)
 MCL 722.717b Order of Filiation, provisions for custody or parenting time
 If the court makes a determination of paternity and there is no dispute
regarding custody, the court shall include in the order of filiation specific
provisions for the custody and parenting time of the child as provided under
the child custody act of 1970.
 If there is dispute between the parties concerning custody or parenting time,
the court shall immediately enter and order that establishes support and
temporarily establishes custody of and parenting time with the child. Pending
a hearing on or other resolution of the dispute, the court may also refer the
matter to the friend of the court for a report and recommendation as provided
in section 5 of The Friend of the Court Act…being section 552.505 of the
Michigan Compiled Laws.
 In a dispute regarding custody or parenting time, the prosecuting attorney, an
attorney appointed by the county, or an attorney appointed by the court under
section 4 shall not be required to represent either party concerning the dispute.
The Law in Support Cases (DS)
 MCL 552.452 (4) Family Support Act
 If there is no dispute regarding a child’s custody, the court shall include
in an order for support issued under this act specific provisions
governing custody of and parenting time for the child in accordance
with the child custody act of 1970…
 If there is dispute regarding custody of and parenting time for the
child, the court shall include in an order for support issued under this
act specific temporary provisions governing custody of and parenting
time for the child. Pending a hearing on or other resolution of the
dispute, the court may refer the matter to the office of the friend of the
court for a written report and recommendation as provided in section 5
of the friend of the court act…MCL 552.505.
 In a dispute regarding custody of and parenting time, the prosecuting
attorney is not required to represent either party regarding the dispute.
Process by Case Clerk
 Receive CAR
 Put Legal Case Information Worksheet and IV-D notes
into a hard file
 Determination as to case type
 Check Central Paternity Registry (CPR)
Process by Paralegal
 Mail out questionnaire
 Questionnaire unique to case type
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Support case (DS)
Paternity case (DP)
Guardian case
 Once questionnaire returned, interview of custodial
parent (CP)
Support (DS) and Paternity (DP) cases
 Paralegal interview
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Does questionnaire indicate PPO, DV or confidential address?
Brief description of physical and legal custody
Brief description of parenting time
 Explain reasonable parenting time
 Explain reserved parenting time
CP asked the following questions:
 “What is your current parenting time arrangement?”
 “Number of overnights child (ren) spend with noncustodial
parent (NCP) each month?”
 “Have you discussed custody and parenting time with NCP?”
NCP office appointment
 CP’s custody and parenting time position presented to
NCP

NCP agrees and signs consent judgment
 NCP files answer, motion for parenting time, or
counter complaint for custody


CP advised by letter that we will not represent her on custody
or parenting time disputes.
Legal Aid information given
1200 N Telegraph Rd
Pontiac, Ml 48341
OAKLAND COUNTY
PROSECUTING ATTORNEY
JESSICA R. COOPER
David G. Case
Family Support Division
Telephone: (248) 858-0715
Fax: (248) 452-9994
Dear Ms. Smith
Enclosed please find the Answer to the Complaint for your records. Please note that the Oakland County
Prosecutor's Office, Family Support Division, does not represent you for custody and/or parenting time
issues. I strongly recommend that you seek legal counsel to represent you in these matters.
For your information, there are several free legal resources for low income individuals, which might be
available to you:
Legal Aid may be reached at (248) 253-1548.
Common Ground holds their legal aid clinic in the Oakland County Law Library, 1200 N Telegraph Rd
Pontiac Ml 48341, every Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Individuals may come for a free
consultation with a licensed attorney on any legal matter. Attendees may register in the Law Library before
12:30 p.m. on the day that they are attending.
Participation is on a first come, first served walk-in basis. For more information on this legal aid clinic, please
contact Common Ground at (248) 451-3753.
The Family Law Assistance Project (F.L.A.P.) holds their legal aid clinic in the Oakland County Law Library,
1200 N Telegraph Rd Pontiac Ml 48341, every other Wednesday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. For detailed
information, please contact F.L.A.P. at (248) 335-0125, or visit http://www.oakgov.com/boclib/events/fami
lylaw.html.
The Oakland County Prosecutor's Office, Family Support Division, will continue to handle any legal matters
that would affect the amount of child support ordered by the Court. If you should have any questions, please
call (248) 858-5623.
Sincerely,
Susan R Harvey
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney
Guardian/Grandparent/Foster Care
 Interview of Guardian or Grandparent
 Legal status determined
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How long child(ren) in CP care?
Any changes anticipated?
Upcoming court dates ?
Plans to file for a guardianship if one does not exist?
Placement through foster care?
 Custody and Parenting time reserved in order
UIFSA Complaint (UE)
 No questionnaire mailed out
 No contact with CP
 CP in other state
 Intake form completed base on general testimony
received from initiating state
UIFSA Complaint (UI)
 No questionnaire mailed out
 CP in Michigan
 CP comes into office for interview with paralegal
 CP completes general testimony and for paternity
cases, affidavit in support of establishing paternity
When case goes to court…
DS/DP
 Assistant prosecuting attorney (APA) speaks with CP
concerning custody and parenting time
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Explain CP represents himself/herself on custody and
parenting time issues
If no dispute, can proceed today
If dispute, may require Friend of the Court (FOC) order of
reference and/or court hearing
Parties may hire private attorneys or seek Legal Aid attorney
 Any history of domestic violence or PPO?
Resolving Custody Parenting Time
 APA explains physical and legal custody
 What is current custody, parenting time arrangement?
 What are NCP’s current overnight’s with child?
 What is NCP seeking concerning custody, parenting
time in his answer?
 Do parties want a spelled out parenting time plan or a
more liberal plan?
NCP
 Speak with NCP about same issues
 Negotiate custody, parenting time between two parties
Custody Provisions
 100 mile rule in joint legal custody MCL 722.31(1)
 Domicile provision MCR 3.211(C)(1)
 Hague convention provision MCL 722.27a(9)
The Law/100 Mile Rule
 MCL 722.31 (1) A child whose parental custody is
governed by court order has, for the purposes of this
section, a legal residence with each parent. Except as
otherwise provided in this section, a parent of a child
whose custody is governed by court order shall not
change a legal residence of the child to a location that
is more than 100 miles from the child’s legal residence
at the time of commencement of the action in which
the order is issued.
The Law/Domicile
 MCR 3.211 (C) A judgment or order awarding custody
of the minor child must provide that (1) the domicile
or residence of the minor may not be moved from
Michigan without the approval of the judge who
awarded custody or the judge’s successor.
The Law/Hague Convention
 MCL 722.27a (9) Except as provided in this subsection,
a parenting time order shall contain a prohibition on
exercising parenting time in a country that is not a
party to the Hague convention on the civil aspects of
international child abduction. This subsection does
not apply if both parents provide the court with
written consent to allow a parent to exercise parenting
time in a county that is not a party to the Hague
convention on the civil aspects of international child
abduction.
Goal of parenting time
 For the child to have a strong relationship with both
parents MCL 722.27a
 Look at duration, frequency, and type of parenting
time
 Safety of child
 Physical, mental and emotion health of the child (ren)
Things to Consider
 Child under age one
 Child special needs
 Transportation
 Distance of parties, burdensome impact on child
 Supervised parenting time plan
 Graduated parenting time plan
Parenting Time Problems
 Bringing significant other to court
 Bringing CP or NCP’s parents to court
 The Unrealistic CP
 The Unrealistic NCP
 The Righteous Attorney
Wrap it up
 Final Order
 Order of Reference to FOC
 Small issues in front of Judge
 Set case for custody, parenting time trial

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