Child Custody Law and Visitation Laws and Family Courts Are Not All The Same Across the Nation … a State … a County … the Family Division of the Local Courthouse

Every state makes its own laws regarding child custody and parental responsibility, and child visitation and timesharing. Beyond the precise language set forth in the statute books, every state’s divorce courts and family courts impose their own unique judicial interpretation of those laws and implement enforcement based, to a large extent, on that interpretation. For those reasons, among others, rulings and judgments in each state’s divorce courts and family courts can vary dramatically, perhaps even more than the wording of their respective state laws might suggest.

A Michigan father contends that many Michigan fathers divorced or separated from their children’s mothers are largely excluded from their children’s day to day lives. And he reports that a whopping forty percent of kids across the US do not have their biological father living in their home.

Despite the evolution of the law governing child custody and parental responsibility, this father indicates that Michigan fathers are ten times more likely to “lose custody” of their children in a custody battle with the children’s mothers. In Michigan cases where the family court awards sole custody to one of the children’s parents, it is awarded to the mothers a staggering ninety-two percent of the time.

Perhaps even more shocking in this day and age, Michigan fathers are reportedly awarded joint custody of their children in only thirteen percent of custody disputes.

And, it is said that the typical Michigan visitation and timesharing schedule grants the noncustodial parents a meager four overnight visits per month.

All combining to effectively isolate many Michigan fathers from their children’s everyday lives of school, extracurricular activities and friendships.

This Michigan father advocates for equal timesharing for fit fathers in Michigan. Both for the fathers’ sakes and for the children’s sakes.

All of the above may seem to be a sad commentary on the state of divorce and child custody laws and visitation and timesharing law as applied in Michigan and, likely, other states as well.

Florida’s child custody and parental responsibility laws and timesharing and visitation laws are drafted so as to be more sensitive to the best interests of children whose parents are no longer together. And the policy of Florida divorce courts and family courts is to be more sensitive to the best interests of children whose families are no longer intact.

Of course, each Florida county and each Florida family court room within each county is somewhat unique.

Any father who identifies with what this Michigan father has to say and who has a child subject to the jurisdiction of the Florida family courts should consult with an experienced Florida child custody attorney. Whatever the law and practice in Michigan, a fit father should be able to look forward to a much better outcome in a child custody dispute in a Florida family court.

Read more in this Muskegon [MI] Chronicle letter to the editor: Legal system forces divorced dads out of kids’ lives