New Laws Related to Family Law in Michigan

2016s second quarter has been a very busy one for Legislators. More than 150 new bills were signed into law, and many of them affect Family Law in Michigan. For that reason, we would like to provide our readers with a quick overview of some recent changes in state law, specifically as it relates to the victims of domestic violence, in the event that this has a direct impact on your life.


House Bill 4477

One of the new laws, HB 4477, will make it easier for the victims of domestic violence to process and serve notice of personal protection orders (PPO). The new law requires that the court provide for alternate service of legal papers, if a person is protected by a personal protection order. Namely, a sheriff, deputy sheriff, police officer, or other appointed officer of the court.


House Bill 4476

Another new law, HB 4476,  limits mediations in certain domestic relations actions. This means that the court may not order mediation when one of the parties has a restraining order out against the other, or when one party is prohibited by the court from contacting the other, or one party has committed child abuse or neglect.


House Bill 4480

House Bill 4480 requires that judges do not allow the actions taken by a parent to protect their children from possible violence from the other parent, to affect their rulings on custody cases. In other words, if a parent has has done something that the court believes may have been unsafe, but was done as a desperate act to protect a child from possible sexual assault or domestic violence, this may not have an effect on any custody or visitation rulings made by the court.


House Bill 4481

And finally, HB 4481 forbids a judge to award custody or visitation to a parent who has been convicted of criminal sexual conduct involving forced penetration. In essence, if the child is the product of a sexual assault, the court may not award custody or parenting time to that parent. This applies even if the convicted parent was convicted by a federal court, or in another state.


We hope this has been helpful to you. Please remember that if you are confused about how these laws may affect you or your family, we urge you to contact an experienced family law attorney. Legislation can sometimes be difficult to interpret, and we are here to help.


After my previous attorney passed away, I hired Chuck to move forward with my parenting time modification. He helped me through the process. He even tried to save me attorney fees by suggesting that my ex and I work out the issues with a parenting time coordinator. Well, that didn't get me anywhere and he did not agree with anything that the coordinator came up with, so he filed a motion on my behalf. I ended up getting more time with my boys that my ex couldn't be there for. Thank you Chuck! I will for sure hire you again if I have any future issues!!

Erica on Avvo, 2014