Legal Case: Whether the best interest of the child is in his fathers’ custody?

Rule and explanation: Entering the custody of the child is regulated by the child custody Act of 1970. Determination of the best interest of the child depends in balancing several factors listed in Mich. Comp / Laws – 722.23 (2012). In the issue of Joseph Thorn, there are three factors directly related to the case. In order to protect the well-being and happiness of the child, the court conducts complete and objective investigation of a person who is requiring the custody of the child. A proper established custodial environment exists where there is a “relationship of a significant duration in which [the child] was provided the parental care, discipline, love, guidance and attention appropriate to his age and individual needs [and] ….. is marked by qualities of security, stability and permanence.” (Baker v. Baker, 411 Mich. 567,579-580; 309 N.W.2d 532 (1981)). Crime activity and alcohol abuse can affect greatly the child custody claimer position. See Rose v. Rose, 321 N.W.2d 333 (Mich. Ct. App. 2001). In Rose, the husband was suffering from alcoholism and convicted for committing several crimes. The court found that Mr. Rose didn’t have the “moral fitness” required to the custody of his child because the record of crimes and alcohol abuse. However, this situation differs for Thorn`s case because Mr. Thorn had a rehabilitation course at the hospital and after that gave up using alcohol and has not committed any crime.

By contrast, in situation where there are financial support and attempts of rehabilitation from alcoholism, the court could consider the case in different perspective. See Winston v. Pipes, 323 N.W. 2d 11 (Mich.Ct.App.2002). In Winston, the Circuit Court found the husband has shown the “capacity and disposition”, despite the small financial support that he paid, that was considered to be significant relating to his income. A successful record of rehabilitation, his attempts to locate and support his daughter, and the significant amount he paid — all these factors granted Mr. Winston joint physical and legal custody of his daughter Mary Pipes.

Additionally, in other case, Jones v. Jones, 385 N.W.2d 222 (Mich.2009), the husband was trying to see his daughter and provide the financial support but that was rejected from Ms. Jones. The court found that Mr. Jones contribute well in all the three factors and affirmed his custody. The above-mentioned cases have lots of similarities with the Thorn`s issues, so the court is likely to make the same decision of giving joint legal and physical …
Posted by: Mariana Galipeau

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