Moving Out of Michigan, Childhood Obesity and Custody!

Moving Out of Michigan, Childhood Obesity and Custody!

As a own family law practitioner in Oakland County, Michigan, I study each divorce case decided by means of the Michigan Court of Appeals. The case of Chochrane v Cochrane, (unpublished) Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No. 312572, February 14, 2013, addressed shifting a baby out of Michigan as a part of the initial divorce case and a change of custody where it involved a baby with obesity problems.

In that case the parties married on November 30, 2002 and separated in March, 2009. The events had one child. The mother moved to Massachusetts in September of 2009 at the same time as the kid stayed with the father and lived with him yr spherical except all through faculty vacations and summer holidays. The mother filed for divorce on April eleven, 2011 and sought number one bodily custody of the child. The foremost problem in the case revolved around testimony that the child changed into considered obese via his medical doctors. The child misplaced approximately 18 pounds while with the mom and received about 72 kilos while he lived together with his father. The mom testified that the kid changed into on a trajectory to attain three hundred kilos by the time he might be in high school. The ancillary problem regarded transferring the child from Michigan to Massachusetts if the courtroom granted the change of custody.

The Issue

Does the daddy's obvious lack of challenge concerning the kid's weight justify a change of custody to the mother and does the mother should address the change of dwelling house so one can occur if the court docket provide's custody to the mother?

The Answer

The toddler had an established custodial environment along with his father as he lived with his father for approximately two years earlier than the mother filed for divorce, so the mom needed to show that this transformation of custody to her became really and convincingly within the toddler's high-quality pursuits. This is a alternatively high burden of evidence for her to bear in order to trade custody.

The divorce court docket analyzed the pleasant interest elements and it appears that the parents were identical on all the factors besides; the capability and disposition of the events involved to provide the kid with meals, apparel, hospital treatment or different remedial care recognized and authorised underneath the laws of this country in location of hospital treatment, and other material desires. The court observed that this factor strongly desired the mother because she carefully monitored the kid's weight and tried to assist him maintain a healthful, lively lifestyle because she changed into involved approximately his long-term health even as the daddy attempted to limit the trouble. The divorce court docket then granted the alternate of custody to the mom over the objections of the father.

The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed this transformation of custody and discovered that it became reasonable to deduce that the kid faced extensive fitness issues unless he started out losing weight and approved the alternate of custody. In addition, the courtroom additionally allowed the kid to move to Massachusetts with the mother.

The trial courtroom then addressed the exchange of homestead factors and decided that the mom had met the requirements of that statute to permit the mother to transport the child with her to Massachusetts. The Michigan Court of Appeals decided that the divorce court ought to now not have implemented this evaluation in this situation.

The higher court docket decided that the obvious language of the exchange of homestead statute indicates that the factors which relate to moving the kid extra than one hundred miles or out of the state, in particular apply only to petitions for exchange of home in conditions wherein there's already an existing custody order. In this situation, the court determined custody within the pending divorce case so there was no pre-current court docket order concerning custody. Therefore, the courtroom observed that in a divorce case where custody is an difficulty and there may be no existing custody order, the court can not consider the exchange of home elements even if the custody dedication can also bring about any such exchange.


It appears that the court docket made the proper decision concerning custody because of the substantial fitness dangers posed by early life weight problems to this specific child. This choice is the primary I even have read that has handled the problem of adolescence weight problems and custody between two otherwise similarly exact parents.

Perhaps more importantly the court docket decided that if a discern is litigating custody in the course of a divorce case, then the court docket may also decide custody is appropriate for a discern that either lives out of nation or may be moving the kid out of the country with out addressing the alternate of dwelling house statute. This does not suggest the court cannot don't forget the effect of the change of dwelling house whilst reading the custody factors due to the fact the court should take that under consideration below the custody statute. However, it does suggest that if a patron is planning to move out of kingdom or has to move out of kingdom, then that issue should be addressed at trial to avoid managing the exchange of domicile statute similarly to the custody statute.


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