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Maier v. Maier

Court of Appeals of Michigan

June 25, 2015

CINDY KAY MAIER, Plaintiff/Counterdefendant-Appellant,
v.
DANIEL CLAYTON MAIER, Defendant/Counterplaintiff-Appellee

Editorial Note:

This opinion is subject to revision before final publication in the Michigan Court of Appeals reports.

Page 726

Clinton Circuit Court. Family Division. LC No. 11-023267-DM.

For CINDY KAY MAIER, Plaintiff-Counter Defendant-Appellant: LIISA R SPEAKER, LANSING, MI.

For DANIEL CLAYTON MAIER, Defendant-Counter Plaintiff-Appellee: AMY H BAILEY, OKEMOS, MI.

Before: RONAYNE KRAUSE, P.J., and K. F. KELLY and STEPHENS, JJ.

OPINION

Page 727

[311 Mich.App. 220] Per Curiam.

Plaintiff appeals as of right the trial court's order awarding defendant sole physical and legal custody of the parties' son, JM. We affirm.

I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Plaintiff and defendant married in 2002, and JM was born three years later. A little more than a year after JM was born the parties separated, but they did [311 Mich.App. 221] not finally divorce until 2012. Custody issues arose during the pendency of the divorce proceedings and resumed within months of the entry of a divorce judgment. In addition to the multiple motions for a show-cause hearing filed with the court, the parties were also involved in several Children's Protective Services (CPS) investigations instigated by plaintiff. CPS found each report to be unsubstantiated. In 2013, a petition to change custody was filed in conjunction with a motion to show cause. The trial court conducted an evidentiary hearing on the custody petition

Page 728

that spanned four months and included seven days of testimony and argument. At the close of those proceedings, the court entered an order granting defendant sole legal and physical custody of JM and granting plaintiff unsupervised visitation with a standard visitation schedule. After an acrimonious initial visitation between JM and plaintiff, the court modified its order on May 22, 2014, to require that plaintiff's visitation be supervised unless a psychological evaluation recommended otherwise. It is that order that plaintiff appeals.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

We review a trial court's fact-finding to determine if it is against the great weight of the evidence. Pierron v Pierron, 486 Mich. 81, 85; 782 N.W.2d 480 (2010). A trial court's determination on the issue of custody is reviewed for an abuse of discretion. Shulick v Richards, 273 Mich.App. 320, 323; 729 N.W.2d 533 (2006). In child custody cases, an abuse of discretion occurs if " 'the result [is] so palpably and grossly violative of fact and logic that it evidences not the exercise of will but perversity of will, not the ...


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