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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 102191
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I just lost custody of my 6 year old son to his father, simply

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I just lost custody of my 6 year old son to his father, simply because i am dating and intend to marry a man who is a registered sex offender. He has consentual sex with a 15 year old girl when he was 19.....he is now 31. he plead no contest and was sentenced to 5 years. he served 18 months and then was on probation for the remaining time of his sentence. He has had no other criminal offenses since then and had non prior to that incident...however, the judged based her decision on the label he has as a sex offender, didnt take in any other facts like that my boyfriend is a youth pastor at our church and has proven to be trusted with young children, his credibility and integrity are highly recognized at our church and with others that know him. I feel that the judges ruling was extremely unfair, my children have never been in any harm with me or my boyfriend. We dont live together and do not sleep over at each others home. I need to know if there is in fact hope for me to pursue an appeal with the judges decision because I know in my heart it was extremely unfair to just rip my child from my life. 2 years ago, my sons father and I came to an agreement that I move out of state and we set up how our visitations would go about...both of us have held up our end and its worked beautifully with our son....clear up to this point where he saw an opportunity to take him back and was awarded full custody. There has to be something I can do and I need help in what form of action I should take.
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am very sorry for your situation. Can you please tell me:

1) Do you still have visitation?
2) When was this order entered? What is the DATE of the judgment (if there has been one entered)? When was the last oral hearing?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes I have one weekend a month....the judgement entry is september 27, 2013 and our last oral hearing was on september 18, 2013. I am beginning the process now of filing an appeal.

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...

…and another list:

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:

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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