June 17, 2009, Introduced by Reps. Calley, Rogers, Rick Jones, McMillin, Pearce, Agema, Knollenberg, LeBlanc, Kurtz, Huckleberry, Horn, Green, Hansen, Bolger, Haines, Moss, Denby, Dean, Amash and Genetski and referred to the Committee on Judiciary.


     A bill to amend 1970 PA 91, entitled


"Child custody act of 1970,"


by amending section 6a (MCL 722.26a), as added by 1980 PA 434.




     Sec. 6a. (1) In a custody dispute between parents, the court


shall order joint custody unless either of the following applies:


     (a) The court determines by clear and convincing evidence that


a parent is unfit, unwilling, or unable to care for the child.


     (b) A parent moves his or her residence outside the school


district that the child attended during the 1-year period preceding


the initiation of the action and is unable to maintain the child's


school schedule without interruption. If a parent is unable to


maintain the child's school schedule, the court shall order that


the parents submit the dispute to mediation to determine a custody


agreement that maximizes both parents' ability to participate


equally in a relationship with the child while accommodating the


child's school schedule. A parent may restore joint custody by


demonstrating the ability to maintain the child's school schedule.


     (2) (1) In If subsection (1) does not apply in a custody


disputes dispute between parents, the parents shall be advised of


joint custody. At the request of either parent, the court shall


consider an award of joint custody, and shall state on the record


the reasons for granting or denying a request. In other cases,


joint custody may be considered by the court. The court shall


determine whether joint custody is in the best interest of the


child by considering the following factors:


     (a) The factors enumerated in section 3.


     (b) Whether the parents will be able to cooperate maintain the


child's school schedule and generally agree concerning important


decisions affecting the welfare of the child.


     (3) (2) If the parents agree on joint in writing to a custody


arrangement, the court shall award joint grant that custody unless


the court determines on the record, based upon clear and convincing


evidence, that joint custody is not in the best interests of the


child arrangement.


     (4) (3) If the court awards joint custody, the court may shall


include in its award a statement regarding when the child shall


reside resides with each parent , or may and shall provide that


physical custody be is shared by the parents in a manner to assure


the child continuing contact with both parents alternately for


specific and substantially equal periods of time.


     (5) (4) During the time a child resides with a parent, that


parent shall decide all routine matters concerning the child.


     (6) (5) If there is a dispute regarding residency, the court


shall state the basis for a residency award on the record or in




     (7) (6) Joint custody shall does not eliminate the


responsibility for child support. Each parent shall be is


responsible for child support based on the needs of the child and


the actual resources of each parent. If a parent would otherwise be


unable to maintain adequate housing for the child and the other


parent has sufficient resources, the court may order modified


support payments for a portion of housing expenses even during a


period when the child is not residing in the home of the parent


receiving support. An order of joint custody, in and of itself,


shall does not constitute grounds for modifying a support order.


     (8) (7) As used in this section, "joint custody" means an


order of the court in which 1 or both of the following is are




      (a) That the child shall reside resides alternately for


specific and substantially equal periods of time with each of the


parents parent.


      (b) That the parents shall share decision-making authority as


to all of the important decisions affecting the welfare of the


child, including, but not limited to, the child's education,


religious training, and medical treatment.