Legal Question in Family Law in Michigan

This summer I was arrested for misdemeanor drunk driving and spent 3 weeks in jail. During this time my 16yr. old son came for his usual summer visitation. He spent the time i was injail with my future in-laws at a church retreat. The sheriffs dept called CPS just to make sure he was being supervised which he was. When I got out, his Dad demanded that I send him home and threatened me with CPS, FOC, and the sheriff, rather than fight I sent him home. Now I want my son, who will be 17 to have his normal visit at Easter and once again I am being threatened with CPS, FOC, and the sheriff even though I have been sober for 8 months and have paid my debt in community service and counseling. Can they do this?

Asked on 1/24/10, 4:04 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Audra Arndt Audra A. Arndt & Associates, PLLC

Who is "they"?

The father can say whatever he wants - it doesn't mean that the FOC would take away your visitaiton, or that CPS would actually open an investigation or determine that you are not a suitable parent. If there is a court order in place outlining your visitation rights, then you have the right to exerice that parenting time unless and until the order is modified. If the father wants it modified, then let him seek a modification through the court. Sounds like he is trying to control you by making these empty threats, which are illegal and inappropriate. If you have done nothing wrong, CPS will not take any action against you. Yes, they will do a quick investigation depending on the strength of his complaint, as they are required to follow-up by law, but that doesn't mean they will perform a long investigation, or take any action.

And what does the Sheriff have to do with this? Nothing, unless something illegal is going on at your house.

Since your DD and jail time was last summer, think about what the father could possibly bring up that you are doing NOW that interferes with your ability to be a good parent while your son is with you for a week or two. If there is nothing, then use your visitation. It is more important to maintain a relationship with your child, than let some jerk scare you with empty threats.

If the father refuses to comply with the visitation order, then you will have to file an emergency motion with the court to force him to comply with the order, or he will go to jail.

Do this for your child.

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Answered on 1/30/10, 2:27 pm

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