When a couple divorces, often children are the ones who suffer the worst. Ideally, every child should have a relationship with both parents. In many cases, an ongoing relationship with the child and parent is in the best interest of the child. However, sometimes child custody has to be given to a third party. A third party guardian includes any individual who is not a parent.
There are many ways a guardian, or third person, can initiate an action of child custody. They can initiate child custody if the individual had adopted the child under Michigan laws. The third person can also initiate child custody if the child's parents were never married. Also, if the child's custodial parent dies or is reported missing and the other parent was denied child custody, the third person may be granted the legal custody of the child.
What's more, if the court, in the best interests of the child, had placed the child in custody of the third person before the expiration of the court order, the third party may file a motion for permanent child custody. The individual can also initiate child custody if the child stayed with this person for at least six months.
If the third person is related by marriage or adoption to the child, then the person can initiate child custody. In awarding child custody, the judge must always consider the best interests of the child. If you would like to learn more about third party child custody and guardianships, consider meeting with a local law firm to learn more information about your case.
Source: Courts.MI.gov, "Michigan Custody Guideline," Accessed on Jan.29, 2015