Legal Question in Family Law in Michigan

Mother has substance abuse issues and often drank in excess around her 7 month old daughter. Eventually, the mother was arrested for her 3rd DUI and for possession of cannabis/paraphernalia. Father was granted full custody 2 years ago. Mother was served but never appeared, so a default judgement was granted to the father. Father relocated daughter to Michigan (which is their home state), while the mother stayed in Illinois.

The mother has done nothing to contest the father’s custody. Moreover, both the mother and her new boyfriend have a tumultuous relationship and have continued to abuse alcohol. For example, both have been arrested for domestic battery involving alcohol. More recently, her boyfriend was arrested for criminal damage to property and resisting arrest.

The mother has repeatedly failed her drops, and was unemployed until November of this year. She has been able to continue her case since her original arrest, and is supposedly facing prison time. The father has brought their daughter to Illinois only a handful of times in the past 2 years, and the mother never contacts the father (unless she is in need of something), and never calls during major holidays or her birthday.

Question #1: How easily could the mother get permission from the judge to travel to Michigan with her current pending charges (during the holidays or her daughter’s birthday, for example)? This doesn’t seem like it would be that big of an issue. The mother has been forced to wear a SCRAM bracelet as of her last arrest 3 months ago.

Question #2: Assuming she ever has a change of heart, to what extent could she fight for custody in the future? The father has a great job and takes care of their daughter very well. Moreover, all of their daughter’s family lives in Michigan. Her daughter has nothing in Illinois except for her mother.

Asked on 1/09/18, 11:19 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Question 1 - should be addressed to an attorney in the state where the judge is located.

Question 2 - She could fight to the full extent set forth in the statute, case law and court rules.

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Answered on 1/09/18, 1:44 pm

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