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  1. #1
    dwentworthhome@ is offline Junior Member
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    Step Parents Right- Michigan

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Michigan
    My husband of 5 years past away 2 weeks ago and now my step daughters bio-mom won't let me see her. My husband had legal physical custody & she had weekend visitaion that is how it's been since my step daughter was 9 months old. My husband & I got married when she was 18 months old and she is now 6. I have always been a stay at home mom, doing everything my step daughter. We have a great relationship. The bio-mom picked her last weekend for her visitation & will not bring her back home. She is patitoning the court for full custody & trying to shut me out of the picture. Do I have any rights? Should I hire an attorney?
  2. #2
    truebluemd is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwentworthhome@ View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Michigan
    My husband of 5 years past away 2 weeks ago and now my step daughters bio-mom won't let me see her. My husband had legal physical custody & she had weekend visitaion that is how it's been since my step daughter was 9 months old. My husband & I got married when she was 18 months old and she is now 6. I have always been a stay at home mom, doing everything my step daughter. We have a great relationship. The bio-mom picked her last weekend for her visitation & will not bring her back home. She is patitoning the court for full custody & trying to shut me out of the picture. Do I have any rights? Should I hire an attorney?
    I am going to sit out on this one and save it for the Seniors
  3. #3
    mommyof4 is offline Senior Member
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    [LIST=1][*] She is not bio-mom. She is 'Mom'[*] As of 2 weeks ago, the only parent this child has is her mother. She has every right to refuse to return her child to you.[*] I am not sure that MI allows for 3rd party vistation in this situation, but that is something you can look into. I really have no desire to delve into the research to answer that question when you are perfectly capable of doing so yourself. However, YOU would have to bring suit and be able to show why it is in the child's best interset to have visitation with you. You will NOT get custody of this little girl. She just lost her Daddy. She needs her Mommy.[/LIST]


    My condolences for your loss.
  4. #4
    dwentworthhome@ is offline Junior Member
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    in no way am I saying she doesn't need her mother. she needs her mother more now then ever but her father & I raised her what kind of person would i be to this child if I just walked away & never seen her again?
  5. #5
    mommyof4 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwentworthhome@ View Post
    in no way am I saying she doesn't need her mother. she needs her mother more now then ever but her father & I raised her what kind of person would i be to this child if I just walked away & never seen her again?
    A legal stranger, the same as you have been for 6 years of this child's life...the same you will be for the rest of her life.

    THAT is the legal answer.

    Your husband raised her and allowed you to share in their lives. The parents, at any time, could have told you to get out of the child's life and you would have no recourse. The PARENT is now telling you (without saying a word) for you to leave. You *might* have limited recourse, however, don't count on it. If you do have standing to sue and decide to go through with it, expect to spend more money than you could imagine without anything close to assurances of the outcome you seek.

    My heart aches for you and this child. However, you have come to a site that provides LEGAL information. The law isn't compassionate.
  6. #6
    dwentworthhome@ is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the legal advise.
  7. #7
    proud_parent is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mommyof4 View Post
    You *might* have limited recourse, however, don't count on it.
    Michigan courts may in fact grant visitation to any interested person if the court deems such visitation to be reasonable.

    (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 5b of the support and parenting time enforcement act, 1982 PA 295, MCL 552.605b, 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, court clerk, or state disbursement unit.

    (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.
    [url=http://law.onecle.com/michigan/722-children/mcl-722-27.html]Child Custody Disputes; Powers Of Court; Support Order; Enforcement Of Judgment Or Order - Mich. Comp. Laws Section 722.27 - Michigan Attorney Resources - Michigan Laws[/url]

    Quote Originally Posted by mommyof4 View Post
    If you do have standing to sue and decide to go through with it, expect to spend more money than you could imagine without anything close to assurances of the outcome you seek.

    My heart aches for you and this child. However, you have come to a site that provides LEGAL information. The law isn't compassionate.
    Please allow me to co-sign.
  8. #8
    special mom is offline Member
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    (1) A third person may bring an action for custody of a child if the court finds . . . :
    * * *
    (b) All of the following:
    (i) The childís biological parents have never been married to one another.
    (ii) The childís 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. [MCL 722.26c(1)(b); MSA 25.312(6c)(1)(b). (Emphasis supplied.)]

    [url=http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/michiganstatecases/appeals/012299/terry.doc]FindLaw for Legal Professionals - Case Law, Federal and State Resources, Forms, and Code[/url]

    Read this carefully.

    "The law protects the natural parentís relationship with his or her child and should not unnecessarily interfere with that relationship, even at the cost of estrangement to the extended family."

    Give this some time, perhaps your stepdaughters mother will soften as time goes by and they have had a chance to get used to the turmoil that has occurred in their family. But if not, the chances of you getting visitation are extremely low.

    You have my condolences.
  9. #9
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by special mom View Post
    (1) A third person may bring an action for custody of a child if the court finds . . . :
    * * *
    (b) All of the following:
    (i) The childís biological parents have never been married to one another.
    (ii) The childís 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. [MCL 722.26c(1)(b); MSA 25.312(6c)(1)(b). (Emphasis supplied.)]

    [url=http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/michiganstatecases/appeals/012299/terry.doc]FindLaw for Legal Professionals - Case Law, Federal and State Resources, Forms, and Code[/url]

    Read this carefully.

    "The law protects the natural parentís relationship with his or her child and should not unnecessarily interfere with that relationship, even at the cost of estrangement to the extended family."

    Give this some time, perhaps your stepdaughters mother will soften as time goes by and they have had a chance to get used to the turmoil that has occurred in their family. But if not, the chances of you getting visitation are extremely low.

    You have my condolences.

    Folks that is FOR CUSTODY. Not visitation.
    Parents should remember 3 things: Love your kids more than you hate your ex; when you have children the relationship with the other parent is until death; your children determine what type of nursing home you end up in.
    Nothing stated by me should be taken as giving you legal advice or forming an attorney/client relationship.

    Attorney-GAL in Ohio.

    I've removed the knife from my back, polished it, and will one day return it -- long after you think I have forgotten.
  10. #10
    summerdawn is offline Senior Member
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    Could that whole "parenting El Pollo Loco" (yeah I know that's not it but it's similar and I didn't remember the name) thing come into play at all here in court? I thought I had seen OG post about it before-is it parenting en loco or something?
  11. #11
    proud_parent is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by summerdawn View Post
    Could that whole "parenting El Pollo Loco" (yeah I know that's not it but it's similar and I didn't remember the name) thing come into play at all here in court?
    The phrase you're thinking of is in loco parentis, but that doesn't really apply here.

    Legal doctrines that may be applied in this type of case (third party seeks visitation or custody) are the de facto parent doctrine, the psychological parent doctrine, and the equitable parent doctrine.

    The equitable parent doctrine has gained some traction in Michigan. However...and this is a BIG however:

    It must be kept in mind that an equitable parent is, in the eyes of the law, entitled to be treated as a natural parent . . . , and once a person is recognized as an equitable parent, that status is permanent . . . . Because of that, we feel that recognizing a third person as an equitable parent and placing them on par with the child's biological parents when it comes to rights and responsibilities in regard to the child should be done with the utmost care and only after great consideration and deliberation. When there is no legally recognized relationship, . . . such as natural parentage or adoption, between a person and a child, that person is essentially just an interested third party, albeit they may have lived with the child's natural parent and care deeply for the child. . . . It is not difficult to imagine cases in which multiple third parties could make such a claim. We are well aware of the fact that the overriding concern must be the best interest of the child and that in some circumstances that interest may best be served by recognizing a third party as an equitable parent. However, we are of the opinion that the decision when a third party with no legal relationship to the . . . child should be accorded such recognition, and the considerations behind such a determination, is policy-based and should be legislatively enacted.
    Van v Zahorik, 227 Mich App 90, 97-98; 575 NW2d 566 (1997), aff'd 460 Mich 320; 597 NW2d 15 (1999)
  12. #12
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Guys and Gals....any laws still on MI's books prior to Troxel were struck down by the MI Supreme Court. It happened in the case of Derose vs Derose and unfortunately I do not remember the year that it happened. It was sometime between 2000-2003. Therefore case law prior to Derose vs Derose is no longer "good law" either.

    Anyway, the MI legislature wrote a new statute. The new statute gives standing only to grandparents, and only in very limited circumstances.

    Everyone (dad's entire extended family) needs to relax a bit and give mom and the child a chance to breath and settle in from the shock of everything.
    Eventually stepmom may have some contact with the child through the paternal grandparents.

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