Some parents say Michigan's joint custody bill doesn't make sense

Children are often caught in the middle of divorces, with both parents pushing for custody.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - A new state bill that would require joint custody is gaining support in Lansing. 

"I don't think that would be fair for every situation because not every situation is going to be safe with one or the other parent," says Melissa Relyea, a divorced mother who is raising a 9 year old.

The new bill Tuesday, June 20, passed the House Judiciary Committee. It would require that no parent receive more than 200 overnights with their children annually.

"A child is going to be forced to go to a parents house where the parent may not be interested in being a parent, so the child would be forced to go there and that could damage the child," Relyea said.

State Rep. Jim Runestead, R-White Lake, is sponsoring the bill.

"We came up with a bill that creates a presumption that when two loving, caring parents go through a divorce they will be given equal amount of time with the kids," Runestead said. "Currently the vast majority of cases will default into one parent or the other parent having primary custody."

The bill still has a long road ahead before it can become law. It would need to pass the full Michigan House, Senate and then be signed by Gov. Rick Snyder.

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