Thank you, J.
What someone in your situation may wish to do before the appeal (and this is not mandatory but is an option) is to file a timely Motion for Reconsideration
. This asks the current court to reconsider the decision before the appeal is made. It "holds" the appeal and the appeal may still be made in 21 days of when the Court rules on the Motion for Reconsideration
. MCR 7.204(A)(1)(c)
Why file this motion?
1) It allows for a possibility for the Judge to reconsider without having to pay more filing fees for the appeal;
2) If the Judge rules against the motion for reconsideration, it gives the appealing party more "ammo" for their argument sometimes;
3) It provides the party with MORE TIME to find an attorney and draft their appeal, as opposed to scrambling to do so.
Most motions for reconsideration fail, but it still provides a valuable time/argument service so it is not a bad idea.
An attorney is recommended. I know you stated that finances are an issue. I can recommend three resources. First, here is a list of all pro bono work in the state...http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/probono/directory/michigan.html
…and another list:http://www.lawhelp.org
Finally, you may call your local law school and see if they have a legal clinic place available. The legal clinic is a free service the school(s) provide to the community. While they are often overbooked, they have openings sometimes. Here is the list law schools in your state:http://www.hg.org/law-schools-michigan.asp
Finally, know that the driving force behind any such decision is "best interest of the child
." Someone in your situation has to show that:
1) Your fiance is not a danger to the child; and
2) You being the custodian is in the best interest of the child
. Brown v. Loveman, 680 NW 2d 432 - Mich: Court of Appeals 2004
I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.
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