How do I go about appealing an order in family court regarding child care?

Asked over 4 years ago - Detroit, MI

Today our judge ordered that is was acceptable for my ex husbands 16 year old niece to watch our two boys (5 and 7) for 10-11 hours a day. It will vary from 3-5 days a week over the summer months. I cited the Child Labor Act, and where it was violated without success.
Last year, the same judge ordered that she could watch the boys with the supervision of the grandfather. During that time she made several bad decisions about company and inappropriate movies.
I feel strongly that she is too young to watch both boys for so long a each day.
I would like to take it to another court for review.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Donald C. Wheaton Jr.

    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . Did the Circuit Court Judge order this or was this a Referee recommendation that will become an Order of the Court if you don't object to it and ask for a hearing before the Judge? If it is a recommendation, make sure you object to it timely and express your concerns to the Circuit Court Judge. If the Circuit Judge has ordered this, then your recourse is to file a Claim of Appeal in the Michigan Court of Appeals. Because the rules on appeal are trickier, you really ought to consult with and hire an attorney in whom you have confidence to handle your case. Good luck.

  2. Timothy P. Flynn

    Pro

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . This post is not intended as direct legal advice, or to create an attorney-client relationship.

    To appeal this parenting time order of the family court judge, you would need to file an application for leave to appeal to the court of appeals. Because this order is not deemed "final" (like a judgement of divorce or an order affecting custody) there is no appeal of right. Instead, the Court of Appeals will assess what has occurred in the Wayne County Family Court to determine whether the family court judge committed clear error.

    Frankly, it is difficult to get the intermediate appellate court to review the merits of a decision like this. The Court of Appeals grants much deference to the family court who better knows the parties and the overall situation and thus has its reasons for the decisions it makes.

    Perhaps the better strategy would be to closely monitor the situation and bring a motion to change custody if mistakes are made that put the children at risk. The requisite "change in circumstances" required as a basis of that motion would be the harmful environment the children face as a result of their Father's parenting style. That decision would be appealable.

    For more information on custody rulings, check out the "LawBlogger" post below.

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