On May 31, 2017, State of Michigan House of Representatives introduced a bill, which, if passed, would amend the Child Custody Act of 1970 to mandate joint custody of minor children.

Some highlights of the proposed bill include:

  • the Requirement that Judges GRANT JOINT LEGAL CUSTODY AND SUBSTANTIALLY EQUAL PARENTING TIME (defined as not to exceed 200 overnights per year), unless there is a preponderance of evidence of domestic violence;
  • the entry of an order prohibiting a parent from moving more than eighty (80) miles away from the other parent;
  • the mandating substantial weight on a child’s preference on custody if he/she is over the age of 16 years old;
  • effectively replacing the “Best Interests of the Child” factors;
  • allowing the Court discretion to reduce the parent responsible to pay child support if he/she would otherwise be unable to maintain adequate housing for the child and the other parent has sufficient resources; and
  • allowing a parent deployed due to military service to designate a third-party to exercise the deployed parent’s parenting time during deployment;

For more information

The entirety of the proposed bill can be found at: http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2017-HB-4691