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Michigan bill would deter international child custody battles

When a couple decides to divorce, there are many issues and disagreements that may potentially arise. One of the most common battles in divorce proceedings concerns child custody. Even when couples have managed to come to an amicable agreement on all other terms of the divorce, these disputes can be some of the most contentious and heated issues in divorce proceedings.

Michigan couples that have children and are going through a divorce may be interested to know that new legislation concerning child custody matters has been sent to the state House of Representatives. The legislation sets standards for a parent's ability to take their child out of the country while in the midst of a child custody dispute.

On October 17, the Michigan Senate unanimously approved a bill that would prevent Michigan courts from allowing a parent to take a child to certain countries if they are in the middle of a child custody dispute. The prohibited countries are those that are not a party to the Hague Convention. The only way a child could be taken to one of these countries is if both parents provide written permission to the court.

According to Senator Moolenaar, international child abduction is a serious problem that must be addressed. That is the goal of this proposed legislation.

During child custody disputes, there are many factors that play into the court's decision. Most importantly, the decision must be made according to what is in the best interests of the child. This proposed legislation makes that consideration even more important by forcing courts to make a decision that is in the best interests of the child and limiting the occurrence of international child abduction.

Source: Midland Daily News, "Moolenaar child custody bill OK'd by Senate, heading to house," Oct. 28, 2012

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