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Michigan Father Arrested for Taking Off With Son, Despite Shared Custody


A Michigan man was recently placed in handcuffs by state police officers after refusing to return his four-year-old boy to his mother.

Mark Petrick was arrested in Kingsley some three months after he was scheduled to return the boy to his mother in Wisconsin, according to the Traverse City Record Eagle. The child’s mother told police that Petrick simply did not show up on the return date and then threatened that she would never see the child again.

The boy “was recovered by troopers without incident,” the Record Eagle reports. Petrick, meanwhile, was charged with parental kidnapping.

Abigail Petrick, the child’s mother, said she last saw him on July 17. He was supposed to be staying with his father for just five days.

“Every day’s been an eternity,” she told a local Fox News affiliate.

A local man who had seen a photo of the boy in a Facebook post alerting the community that he was missing spotted the child in Kingsley, the Record Eagle reports. He told police that the child was living with a man who turned out to be his father in a recreational vehicle behind a repair shop.

How to Handle a Child Custody Dispute in Michigan

Kraayeveld Law is a family law firm whose Grand Rapids child custody attorney helps people resolve child custody and other family-related legal issues. We understand the pain and stress that these problems can create, and we work diligently to resolve them on optimal terms for the people we represent.

The Petrick situation highlights just how contentious child custody or visitation disputes can get. Leaving with a child and refusing to return him or her to the other parent at an agreed-upon time usually is not the answer. Our firm can help parents explore a better approach.

There are two types of child custody: physical and legal. Physical custody refers to where the child lives, while legal custody determines who has the right to make certain decisions about the child’s life. Both forms of custody can be either sole – with one parent having custody – or joint, shared by the parents.

Michigan courts that make a custody decision look at various factors to determine the “best interest” of the child. Those factors include each parent’s relationship with the child, capacity to care for the child, willingness to foster a close relationship between the child and the other parent, as well as the child’s “reasonable preference,” among others.

A court can also reconsider and modify a custody arrangement if there has been a change in circumstances that justifies the modification.

Consult a Grand Rapids Child Custody Attorney

At Kraayeveld Law, a Grand Rapids child custody attorney can help you efficiently resolve a wide range of issues related to child custody, visitation, and support. We take the time to understand each client’s unique needs and craft a legal strategy designed to meet their goals.

Call 616-285-0808 or contact us online to make an appointment to speak with a Grand Rapids child custody attorney about your situation.