In January of 2005, a Michigan law was passed that granted increased visitation and custody rights to grandparents circumstancially.
We respect grandparents who take on larger roles in divided or dysfunctional families. Hertz schram will educate you on your options and rights in custody disputes, parenting time, visitation and adoption. We have protected the rights of grandparents for over 20 years and always work to create practical and easily achievable visitation plans.
Establishing Grandparents with Parental Rights
If one or both parents have deceased or a parent has neglected responsibility for their child because of substance abuse or inability to offer/ recieve support, we can help grandparents establish parental rights whether it be permanent or temporary.
You should also contact us if you are interested in adoption of your grandchild. We have the legal ability knowledge, and experience to tailor our legal guidance to your specific situation. Please call us to schedule an initial consultation (248) 609-3146
Specific Child Custody Situations
When you are faced with custody issues, many questions will arise. Gathering informed answers is crucial as these questions affect the well being and future of your children. We have been assisting individuals with custody issues for over 20 years and providing them with the information they need to protect the best interests of their children. This includes married couples, unmarried couples and other individuals:
- Fathers: we aid fathers in establishing paternity and enforce orders from divorce to grant them parenting time so they can maintain involvement in their child’s life
- Mothers: We assist mothers in enforcing support and custody agreements, protecting the children from harms way, and maintaining legal protection needed to establish nurturing environments.
- Grandparents: We help grandparents who are raising grandchildren under non traditional circumstances such as parental substance abuse or absence. We also aid grandparents who are seeking rights to visitation.
- Stepparents: We counsel stepparents and educate them on the process of adoption along with other available options to encourage them to become more invested in the lives of their spouse’s children.
We also lead our clients through the complicated process of disputing or establishing paternity. We are here for your family. Call our office to schedule an initial consultation at (248) 609-3146
Supporting the rights of stepparents in adoption and child custody
Stepparents are often frustrated and confused by Michigan’s law about the roles that they are allowed to play in their stepchild’s life. Issues relating to the discipline of a child, obtaining proper health care, having a say in the education of the child and many other situations can be unnecessarily complicated. The law can make it difficult even for stepparents who are committed to supporting and raising a child just because you are not the biological parent of the child.
What can be done?
In most cases, adoption of the child will resolve the vast majority of issues and grant you parental rights. However, this process can be immensely complicated so it is absolutely necessary to have an experienced attorney to guide you. We encourage you to review the information below on Michigan’s stepparent adoption process and other solutions that may aid you in maintaining a role in the life of your stepchild.
Adoption for stepparents in Michigan
When your spouse and the other parent of the child have an amicable relationship, and the other parent wants to relieve themselves of obligations to the child and parental rights, it can make the process of stepparent adoption much easier. The other parent may terminate their parental rights voluntarily under these circumstances. After obtaining the court’s approval and waiting until the end of the 21 day appeal period, the stepparent may acquire parental rights by adopting the child.
Please note that if the child is 14+ years of age, they will also need to give their consent to the adoption process before it is approved by the court.
Contested Stepparent Adoptions
A more complex situation immerges when the other parent does not agree to your desire to adopt the child. Contested stepparent adoptions in Michigan involve termination of the other parents rights involuntarily. This means that despite their objections, you are asking that the court terminates the other parent’s rights. The State of Michigan does not take this matter lightly, achieving such termination involves the imposition of a hefty burden.
The court will decide whether or not the noncustodial parent:
- Has the means, but failed to provide support to the child that is “regular and substantial” for two or more years.
- Has “regularly and substantially neglected or failed” to communicate with or visit the child for two or more years
It is necessary that both criteria are met for the court system to terminate the other parent’s rights and start the stepparent adoption process.
We are here to answer your questions. Call our office at (248) 609-3146