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Michigan court granted custody to non-family members

When a couple splits up, there are certain ramifications from the break up, especially when children are involved. Having to determine where the child/children will be placed in child custody situations is very emotional and can be very painful for the parties involved. Not everyone will be happy with the court's decision in child custody cases because ultimately a court decision will award custody of the child to one party over another. Child custody determinations have a lasting impact on everyone.

Usually, when the rights of the parents are terminated, custody of the children goes to a close family member like a grandparent or another suitable relative. However, even though that is the norm, that is not the rule. Case in point, the ruling by the Michigan Supreme Court in favor of a foster family over a grandmother in a custody case. Where previously the Michigan Court of Appeals placed custody of the children with the grandmother after the parent's rights were terminated, the Supreme Court of Michigan felt that the children were already in a settled environment in their foster home and opted to leave them there until final disposition of the custody case.

Again, child custody decisions made by the courts can go any which way depending on the facts and circumstances of the case. The court is not concerned so much with familial ties although this is taken into consideration. The courts bottom line in custody cases is to place the child/children in a situation that is in their best interest in every way. As such, the best interest of the child standard is the prevailing standard in child custody cases.

Sometimes, after the court has awarded custody to one party, it is possible for the non custodial parent to modify the parenting agreement, if they can show a change of circumstances or the custodial parent's loss of capacity.

Source: Michigan Radio, "Michigan Supreme Court says children in custody battle will stay with foster family," Rick Pluta, August 8, 2013

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