MICHIGAN FAMILY BILLS OF INTEREST
UPDATE ON KEY LEGISLATION
- HB 5267 (Mortimer) is a “shared parenting” bill which will amend current law so that a written custody agreement by both parents will be presumed to be in everyone’s best interests. In cases where parents cannot write a custody agreement, the court will establish one, based on the presumption of the right of both parents to joint physical and legal custody of minor children. This presumption may be rebutted if there is clear and convincing evidence that one parent is “unfit, unwilling or unable” to handle their parental responsibilities. Passage of HB 5267 will make the presumption of shared custody the rule rather than the exception in Michigan, allowing both parents to retain physical custody of their children for “alternating and substantially equal” periods of time. We are currently working with key stakeholder groups and legislative leaders to garner additional support for this bill, which is likely to be taken up by the House Family & Children Services Committee soon after they pass the marriage preservation package. We will notify members when it is most appropriate to contact either members of the committee or the full House of Representatives.
DADS of Michigan PAC: http://www.dadsofmichigan.org/shared_parenting.html
Fathers: A Childs Right: http://www.fatherachildsright.org/html/mi_hb5267.html
Send Letter to you Legislator: http://hb5267.org/SupportHB5267.html
- HB 5701 (Moolenaar) is a bill to encourage parents of minor children in a divorce/custody situation to cooperatively draft a parenting plan. This bill is part of a comprehensive “marriage preservation” package of bills (HB 5698-5703) which have passed in previous legislative sessions but have been vetoed by Governor Granholm. This parenting plan bill is tie-barred to HB 5698 (Vanderveen), a bill to require a divorce effects program before entry of judgment of divorce. The House Family & Children Services Committee held an initial hearing on these bills last month, and we are working with interested stakeholders on various amendments to HB 5701 which will make it even more family friendly. Further committee action on these bills is expected in the weeks ahead. Once we know when this bill will be schedule for additional testimony and a vote, we will ask interested parties to contact their member of the House of Representatives.
- SB 436 (McManus) is a bill which will provide unwed biological fathers with legal standing on issues of paternity and custody for their children. The bill has been through numerous drafts and revisions, and an initial hearing was held in the Senate Families & Human Services committee last month. We appreciate the leadership demonstrated on this issue by Senator McManus and her staff, and interested parties should be in contact with your individual State Senator and urge them to support SB 436 when it comes up for a vote.
Marriage Package Passed House Committee 10-0 on May 3. We are working with Citizens for Traditional Values (CTV) and the Michigan Family Forum (MFF) to shape this legislation. See the bills below.
DOMP In Action
The DOMP legislative team is putting in a lot of time and effort. You can help by reading and understanding the bills, and telephone your Legislators and tell them your story, and that you want change in family court. DADS of Michigan PAC have opened the door for you. Now we need your voice.
Our major push for this next six weeks is as follows:
- Send a personal letter to every Legislator requesting support of key legislation. Check http://www.dadsofmichigan.org/pacnews.html for sample letters.
- Attend legislative hearings for the marriage package, parenting plan, paternity, and shared parenting. Note: Hearings will be conducted over the next eight weeks.
- Telephone every Legislator and request a position statement on key legislation.
Legislator questionnaire for shared parenting: PAC Legislative Questionnaire.doc
- Conduct a Legislative Forum in Lansing on June 13 to brief Legislators.
We will also be sending alerts to more then 200 Region Directors and Coordinators in the state. We need you to recruit more people and have them send an email to email@example.com to sign up.
Legal Updates: Family law
New Bills or Resolutions
- SB 1283 of 2006
Family law; parenting time; factors to determine grandparent visitation; revise. Amends sec. 7b of 1970 PA 91 (MCL 722.27b).
- SB 1281 of 2006
Family law; child custody; custody determination; require to factor in child living with a registered sex offender. Amends sec. 3 of 1970 PA 91 (MCL 722.23).
Updated Bills or Resolutions
- HB 5698 of 2006
Family law; marriage and divorce; divorce; require a divorce effects program before entry of judgment of divorce.
- HB 5699 of 2006
Family law; marriage and divorce; prerequisites for issuance of a marriage license; require premarriage program or longer waiting period. TIE BAR WITH: HB 5700’06HB 5702’06HB 5703’06
- HB 5700 of 2006
Income tax; credit; marriage preservation tax credit; provide for. TIE BAR WITH: HB 5699’06HB 5702’06HB 5703’06
- HB 5701 of 2006
Family law; child custody; child parenting plan; create. TIE BAR WITH: HB 5698’06
- HB 5702 of 2006
Family law; marriage and divorce; individuals who can accept payment and perform marriage and family counseling; expand. TIE BAR WITH: HB 5699’06HB 5700’06HB 5703’06
- HB 5703 of 2006
Family law; marriage and divorce; recording of certain information on marriage license and certificate; require. TIE BAR WITH: HB 5699’06HB 5700’06HB 5702’06
- HB 4086 of 2005
Family law; marriage and divorce; solemnization of marriage; allow all county clerks and their designees to conduct. Amends secs. 7 & 16 of 1846 RS 83 (MCL 551.7 & 551.16).
- HB 5953 of 2006
Family law; marriage and divorce; provision regarding property rights; modify. Amends sec. 1 of 1909 PA 259 (MCL 552.101).
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