Sec. 4. (1) In all actions involving dispute of a minor child's custody, the court shall declare the child's inherent rights and establish the rights and duties as to the child's custody, support, and parenting time in accordance with this act.
(2) If, at any time in the proceeding, the court determines that the child's best interests are inadequately represented, the court may appoint a lawyer-guardian ad litem to represent the child. A lawyer-guardian ad litem represents the child and has powers and duties in relation to that representation as set forth in section 17d of chapter XIIA of 1939 PA 288, MCL 712A.17d . All provisions of section 17d of chapter XIIA of 1939 PA 288, MCL 712A.17d , apply to a lawyer-guardian ad litem appointed under this act.
(3) In a proceeding in which a lawyer-guardian ad litem represents a child, he or she may file a written report and recommendation. The court may read the report and recommendation. The court shall not, however, admit the report and recommendation into evidence unless all parties stipulate the admission. The parties may make use of the report and recommendation for purposes of a settlement conference.
(4) After a determination of ability to pay, the court may assess all or part of the costs and reasonable fees of the lawyer-guardian ad litem against 1 or more of the parties involved in the proceedings or against the money allocated from marriage license fees for family counseling services under section 3 of 1887 PA 128, MCL 551.103 . A lawyer-guardian ad litem appointed under this section shall not be paid a fee unless the court first receives and approves the fee.
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