Many court rulings in Michigan are based on previous decisions. However, laws are always changing -- as are family situations. This means that courts must look to the best interests of the child and this could mean setting a precedent. A Michigan man who raised a young boy since birth was recently allowed by a court to retain his parental rights -- even though the man is not the boy's biological father.
In a move that could have far-reaching effects and establish legal precedents in Michigan and other states, a state Supreme Court ruled in favor of a woman who donated an egg cell which was used to artificially inseminate her partner, with the two women separating after the child's birth. There was disagreement on whether state laws prohibit anonymous egg or sperm donors from claiming child custody or parental rights. The court was divided, but ultimately handed down a 4-3 ruling.
A Michigan man who fathered a child with a married woman is contesting a law that allowed the woman to deny him his parental rights. The man is questioning the constitutionality of the statute, which grants mothers significant discretion in deciding whether biological fathers can claim paternity rights following the birth of a child conceived during an adulterous affair.
Michigan law currently does not recognize marriage between two individuals of the same sex, but it does not restrict such couples from successfully adopting and raising a child. This can make it frustrating and difficult for gay couples who want to start families in the state, as Michigan only grants certain parental rights to one of the parents.
A woman originally from Michigan is at the center of an international child custody case after she reportedly fled Turkey with her two daughters in 2007 in order to protect them from sexual abuse at the hands of their father. The woman testified at a U.S. District Court hearing, admitting that she obtained $70,000 from her parents and used the money to pay a mercenary to smuggle her and her daughters, now ages 10 and 9, over the Turkish border. She lived with the girls in a small European country for over two years before being allowed to return to the United States on single-use passports.
The Michigan Senate recently gave unanimous approval to a bill that would make it illegal for a Michigan resident to take his or her child to certain countries while engaged in a child custody dispute. This bill has been sent to the state House of Representatives.
A 24-year-old man wants to see the child of a girl he admitted to raping when he was 17, filing a petition seeking visitation rights on the grounds that he is currently paying $110 in weekly child support to the child's mother. She was 14 at the time of the rape. The case has raised the question of whether convicted rapists should be allowed to file petitions in family court regarding their victims and any children conceived during rape.