In a 5-2 opinion released today, the Michigan Supreme Court declared that the one parent doctrine is an unconstitutional violation of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Justice McCormack wrote for the majority:
The one parent doctrine permits a court to interfere with a parent’s right to direct the care, custody, and control of the children solely because the other parent is unfit, without any determination that he or she is also unfit. In other words, the one-parent doctrine essentially imposes joint and several liability on both parents, potentially divesting either of custody, on the basis of the unfitness of one. Merely describing the doctrine foreshadows its constitutional weakness.
Justices Markman and Viviano dissented.
Posted by Samantha Meinke