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Patterns of endangerment may affect child custody

The rights and responsibilities of parenthood are some of the most intense and important experiences in adult life. It is not surprising that they are also the most contentious parts of divorce, separation or altercations between spouses. Unfortunately, this also means that children end up paying for the fights that happen between parents.

A recent proposal in Michigan has been alternately praised and derided as a solution to child custody disputes. Since child custody can be argued passionately by potential guardians, the new law creates an even split of rights and responsibilities for parents. This removes many subtleties from the custody ruling process, but one factor would remain unchanged in the eyes of the law.

Parents or guardians who could cause harm either accidentally or intentionally to a spouse, former spouse or children is generally seen with a dim view by child custody courts. Patterns of abusive behavior or endangerment may preclude some parents' custodial rights after a ruling by a family court.

A father in Sturgis was apprehended with his children after he allegedly assaulted their mother and fled the scene. Local authorities and the Michigan State Police issued an AMBER alert, denoting a child or children in captivity, which was canceled after the father was arrested and the children returned home safe.

Parents concerned for the safety of their children in someone else's care may bring these details and supporting evidence to the attention of criminal or family courts. An attorney can help judge the best path to the proper child custody arrangement during or after a crisis.

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