Understanding Children’s Rights in Michigan
Children’s rights are often overlooked, ignored, or worse outright trampled in the course of a nasty divorce. Legally, children have relatively few rights, and the courts are expected to look after a child’s best interest first and foremost. The presumption in the law is that the court’s order to care for the children above all else will suffice, but as it turns out, it is possible for a judge to get swept up in a narrative and act in favor of a manipulative parent instead of one with the child’s actual best long-term interest in mind.
That’s one reason why the Michigan Child Custody Act allows for the appointment of a children’s rights attorney — technically called a lawyer-guardian ad litem — to serve as an independent representative of the child’s best interests in a difficult divorce case. Unfortunately, because the Act merely allows for such an appointment and does not require it, the vast majority of children whose futures are being decided by divorce or other custody-related cases go entirely without representation.
Gucciardo Family Law finds this wholly inadequate, and we invite any parent who is concerned that their child(ren)’s voice is not being heard by the court to address their judge. Request the appointment of a children’s rights attorney for your child(ren), to ensure that there is a competent, legally-minded adult present at all discussions whose full focus is on their needs, questions, opinions, and well-being. It’s the best that Michigan law allows for, but it’s a pretty good ‘best,’ as long as you can get a firm like Gucciardo Family Law involved early and actively.