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MPLP Advocate Library - Family Law

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A Coordinated Response to Child Abuse and Neglect: The Foundation for Practice
This manual addresses the definition, scope, causes, and consequences of child abuse and neglect. It presents an overview of prevention efforts and the child protection process from identification and reporting through investigation and assessment to service provision and case closure.

Acknowledgement of Parentage and Custody: AG Opinion
Attorney General Opinion which affirms that an executed acknowledgement of parentage gives the mother custody and concludes that law enforcement may rely on the acknowledgement as establishing the mother's custody.

Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSR) reports for a total 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and 52 Program Improvement Plans (PIPs) have been submitted/approved and were reviewed to compile this summary. The following summary and analysis is based on the information contained in the following table, which highlights the substance abuse issues included in the States’ reports.

The following model brief was written by William Berndt, a third year law student in the Michigan Clinical Law Program, in response to numerous requests from members of the Family Law Task Force for assistance in writing a brief requesting that the court deny joint custody in situations involving domestic violence.

Common Legal Cites for Family Law
Quick reference of common legal citations in Michigan Family Law.

Disappointing Supreme Court Decision for Battered Women
On June 27, 2005, the United States Supreme Court announced its decision in Town of Castle Rock, Colorado v. Gonzales. In this 7-2 decision, the Court held that there is no 14th Amendment property interest in "police enforcement of restraining orders," and, accordingly, there is no Due Process violation when a police officer does not enforce a restraining order.

Each year, intimate partner homicide happen in increasing numbers in our community. Mothers, fathers and children lose daughters, sons, mothers and fathers in unimaginable tragedy. The Macomb County Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team (MCDVFRT) concluded that more can be done to prevent domestic violence homicides. Read this report for more information.

Family Law Benchbook
This looseleaf benchbook covers several family law topics including child support, custody, parenting time, spousal support, property division and more.

Family Law Links
Substantive Family Law links for Michigan Advocates.

Family to Family Initiative Changes Child Welfare Decisions in Michigan
In 2000, citing the disastrous condition of the Michigan Foster Care system, particularly in communities of color, Michigan through the Department of Human Services (DHS) received money from the Annie E. Casey Foundation to pilot the Family to Family initiative.

November 30, 2006, Introduced by Reps. Lipsey and Bieda and referred to the Committee on Judiciary. A bill to create a child support formula commission; and to provide for its powers and duties.

This brochure explains Michigan law, which permits a tenant in fear of domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault to terminate a lease early. The brochure is appropriate for domestic violence advocates, attorneys and survivors of domestic violence.

Major Resources for the New Family Law Attorney
While experienced family law lawyers are undoubtedly familiar with the array of research resources most useful to the family law practitioner, new attorneys and attorneys new to family law practice may need guidance in locating and identifying the most efficient and useful source material to help them in their family law work.

Addressing Domestic Violence Fatalities in Macomb County

For for use by clients and advocates where notice is required under MCR 2.004.

Instructions for use by clients and advocates where notice is required under MCR 2.004.

Custody law is a mixture of statutes, case law, court rules, tradition and local county procedures. Both its' substantive and procedural provisions are mixed together, and jurisdictional issues are ill-defined.

Presumption of Joint Custody (HB 5267) Introduced in Michigan
The bill creates a presumption of joint custody and requires courts to order joint physical and legal custody with some exceptions.

Reauthroizing the Violence Against Women Act Prompted
VAWA 2000 will expire in September of 2005. If Congress does not reauthorize the Act, then the 10 years of improvements incombating violence against women will be halted.

Recent Family Law Decisions
After many years of no appellate decisions on personal protection proceedings, the Court of Appeals recently issued several unpublished decisions.

Selected portions of a sample brief written by Miriam Aukerman of Legal Aid of Western Michgian.

The Family to Family Initiative is designed to recognize and build upon the strengths of birth families. By building on the strengths that families possess, and by providing them with community resources and support, the goal is for families to be in a position to safely care for their children in their own communities and in their own homes. When a child must be removed from his/her home, the philosophy is clear that every effort should be made to have the child live with relatives or a foster family within the child's own community. A key component of Family to Family is the recruitment and retention of families of color together with a new emphasis on making decisions with, rather than for, parents.

Violence Against Women Act Passes House and Senate
The United States Senate passed S. 1197, the bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 1994 through fiscal year 2010, by unanimous consent on October 4, 2005.

Public Benefits/Family Law Task Force Meeting, February 7, 2007

An initial look at the 2006 Amendments to Michigan's Social Welfare Act

Maps some common questions relating to Protected Parties.