Sec. 7. (1) If a child custody dispute has been submitted to the circuit court as an original action under this act or has arisen incidentally from another action in the circuit court or an order or judgment of the circuit court, for the best interests of the child the court may do 1 or more of the following:
(a) Award the custody of the child to 1 or more of the parties involved or to others and provide for payment of support for the child, until the child reaches 18 years of age. Subject to section 5b of the support and parenting time enforcement act, 1982 PA 295, MCL 552.605b , the court may also order support as provided in this section for a child after he or she reaches 18 years of age. The court may require that support payments shall be made through the friend of the court, court clerk, or state disbursement unit.
(b) Provide for reasonable parenting time of the child by the parties involved, by the maternal or paternal grandparents, or by others, by general or specific terms and conditions. Parenting time of the child by the parents is governed by section 7a. 1
(c) Subject to subsection (3), modify or amend its previous judgments or orders for proper cause shown or because of change of circumstances until the child reaches 18 years of age and, subject to section 5b of the support and parenting time enforcement act, 1982 PA 295, MCL 552.605b , until the child reaches 19 years and 6 months of age. The court shall not modify or amend its previous judgments or orders or issue a new order so as to change the established custodial environment of a child unless there is presented clear and convincing evidence that it is in the best interest of the child. The custodial environment of a child is established if over an appreciable time the child naturally looks to the custodian in that environment for guidance, discipline, the necessities of life, and parental comfort. The age of the child, the physical environment, and the inclination of the custodian and the child as to permanency of the relationship shall also be considered. If a motion for change of custody is filed while a parent is active duty, the court shall not consider a parent's absence due to that active duty status in a best interest of the child determination.
(d) Utilize a guardian ad litem or the community resources in behavioral sciences and other professions in the investigation and study of custody disputes and consider their recommendations for the resolution of the disputes.
(e) Take any other action considered to be necessary in a particular child custody dispute.
(f) Upon petition consider the reasonable grandparenting time of maternal or paternal grandparents as provided in section 7b 2 and, if denied, make a record of the denial.
(2) A judgment or order entered under this act providing for the support of a child is governed by and is enforceable as provided in the support and parenting time enforcement act, 1982 PA 295, MCL 552.601 to 552.650 . If this act contains a specific provision regarding the contents or enforcement of a support order that conflicts with a provision in the support and parenting time enforcement act, 1982 PA 295, MCL 552.601 to 552.650 , this act controls in regard to that provision.
(3) As provided in the servicemembers civil relief act, 50 USC 501 to 597b, if a motion for change of custody is filed during the time a parent is on deployment, a parent may file and the court shall entertain an application for stay. The court shall not enter an order modifying or amending a previous judgment or order, or issue a new order, that changes the child's placement that existed on the date the parent was called to deployment, except that the court may enter a temporary custody order if there is clear and convincing evidence that it is in the best interests of the child. When a temporary custody order is issued under this subsection, the court may include a limit on the period of time that the temporary custody order remains in effect. At any stage before final judgment in the proceeding, the parent may file an application for stay or otherwise request a stay of the proceedings or file an application for an extension of a stay. The parent and the custodial child are not required to be present to consider the application for stay or extension of a stay. The application for stay or extension of a stay is sufficient if it is a signed, written statement, certified to be true under penalty of perjury. The same conditions for the initial stay apply to an application for an extension of a stay. The parent's duration of deployment shall not be considered in making a best interest of the child determination.
(4) The parent shall inform the court of the deployment end date before or within 30 days after that deployment end date. Upon notification of a parent's deployment end date, the court shall reinstate the custody order in effect immediately preceding that period of deployment. If a motion for change of custody is filed after a parent returns from deployment, the court shall not consider a parent's absence due to that deployment in making a best interest of the child determination. Future deployments shall not be considered in making a best interest of the child determination.
(5) If the deploying parent and the other parent share custody, the deploying parent must notify the other parent of an upcoming deployment within a reasonable period of time.
FindLaw Codes are provided courtesy of Thomson Reuters Westlaw, the industry-leading online legal research system. For more detailed codes research information, including annotations and citations, please visit Westlaw.
FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.