Michigan parents may want to take note of House Bill 4691, the Michigan Shared Parenting Act. This bill -- which offers automatic 50-50 custody to divorcing parents -- could become a state law. Last Friday, an activist group in favor of the proposed measure gathered at the downtown Grand Rapids courthouse to show their support for the legislation.
Supporters say that the proposed measure would resolve the "heartbreaking and ineffective family court system across Michigan." The group believes that the law the court system "negatively and unapologetically pits parent against parent and hurts children of ALL ages." Advocates further claim that the bill would provide parents with more equivalent amounts of parenting time following a divorce.
It's important to note that there are also opponents to the proposed measure. Opponents say that courts should be more focused on the best interests of the children rather than on the right of parents to spend equal time with their kids. Indeed, 50-50 parenting plans may not be suitable for all parents and all children. Some children may not do well with the shifting of homes each week and could benefit more from living at just one residence and visiting the other parent.
Regardless which side of the debate you happen to be on, and regardless whether this proposed measure becomes law, Michigan parents facing divorce will still be able advocate for their parental rights and for the best interests of their children in court. A family law attorney can be very helpful in this process to defend a parent's rights in a manner that reflects the law.
Source: Fox17, "50/50 child custody bill sparks heated debate in Grand Rapids," Bob Brenzing, Aug. 12, 2017