Domestic violence is a grave social ill that needs to be addressed from every angle to effectively fight against it. This is particularly the case when children are caught in the midst of family situations involving domestic violence. Two recent changes in state law make it easier for those facing domestic violence to receive fair consideration in family court.
As we’ve noted in previous posts, the presence or history of domestic violence and abuse is certainly a factor that family court judges will take seriously when determining whether a given custody arrangement is in the best interests of the child. We’ve also pointed out that, under Michigan law, one of the factors courts consider in custody cases is the willingness of each parent to cooperate with one another in facilitating a positive, ongoing relationship with the other parent.
One of the negative side effects of the law has been that parents who take action to protect children from domestic violence could potentially have that taken into consideration for purposes of child custody and visitation. A recently passed measure, however, prevents courts from considering actions taken by survivors of domestic violence to protect their children when making custody and visitation determinations.
Another recent change in the law relates to parents dealing with a child custody dispute concerning a child conceived by rape. We’ll take a look at this new law in a future post, and how an experienced attorney can help a parent to avail him- or herself of his or her rights.