How a new bill could force divorced parents to have joint custody of kids

Posted at 6:27 AM, Aug 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-23 08:33:53-04

A new bill in the Michigan House of Representatives could change how the state of Michigan decides who gets custody of kids after a divorce.

Right now, a judge decides who gets primary custody of a child, but the new bill making its way through Lansing would default to joint custody for both the mother and the father following divorce.

State Rep. Jim Runestad, the man behind the bill, held a town hall Monday night in Grand Rapids. He's pushing the legislation and says the current system needs to be updated.

He says the bill will push the custody decision away from a judge's discretion and points to studies that show joint custody is best for a child.

Not all people agree. Som eat the town hall said the new bill will pit parents against each other and muddies the waters of custody and divorce battles where domestic violence may be a factor.

Others say the current 80-20 percent custody standards is flawed.

A House committee passed the bill but it will still need to pass a full vote in the House and then the Senate before it could be signed into law by Gov. Snyder.