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« What are Michigan's residency requirements for divorce action? | Main | Permanent spousal support? »

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Doug Dante


Thank you Hon. Jon A. Van Allsburg of the Ottowa County curt for recording and reporting statistical summaries of your court's custody recommendations.

As you said, "Ottawa County may not reflect the experience of the rest of the state"

I agree.

As an experienced Judge, you've made public statistical summaries of recommendations make by your court to allow the public to understand that you're acting in the best interests of justice.

I urge you to take the next logical step. Request that EVERY jurisdiction create similar statistical summaries.

Please help to create and support a Friend of the Court Sunshine Act, like this suggested first cut that I drafted as an amateur here:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/430033/-Proposal-Michigan-Friend-of-the-Court-Sunshine-Act

Best Wishes,

Doug Dante

Richard Postma

Judge Van Allsburg's comments demonstrate the quintessential problem with the family courts in Michigan; namely, that "the best interests of the child" are even knowable by an attorney turned politician.

The family court is not a court of punishment. Taking children away from fit and willing parents is a form of punishment, one of the most sinister powers available to family court judges today. And these actions are taken every day for the most superficial of reasons--so often it seems the only standard is the caprice of a judge. That is why a legislative "mandate" is necessary, not a "presumption."

When left without mandated direction from the legislature, judges can "presume" away and pave roads with good intentions.

Richard Postma, Ottawa County

P.S. Thanks Jeanne for keeping the discussion of this legislation going.

Angela Pedersen, R.N.

The Hon. Jon A. Van Allsburg provides statistics that do not reflect the entire state. This sounds like an excellent county to get a divorce/child custody dispute resolved. The Judge states, "Current law already states a presumption in favor of joint custody." this is not true. Both parties must be informed of joint custody and nothing more. If one of the parents disagrees with joint physical custody the child or children will be denied their fundamental right to be loved, guided, educated and nurtured by both fit and willing parents. The "best interest factors" have failed Michigan, families, parents, grandparents and most of all children. Judicial discretion has also failed our families and children. It was the "judicial discretion" of the Supreme Court which ruled in favor of slavery many years ago! Title IV-D federal incentives fuels what many consider to be court sponsored child abuse - the cookie-cutter time of 4-6 days a month that most fathers (sometimes mothers) receive with their children. Follow the flow of money back into the FOC and your county court system here: http://www.achildsright.net/html/title_iv-d.html

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