CHILD CUSTODY LAWYERS Serving Monroe, Michigan and Downriver Detroit
EXPERIENCED MONROE COUNTY AND WAYNE COUNTY CHILD CUSTODY LAW FIRM
Child custody matters can be a sensitive and emotional time for all parties involved, but there are also legal ramifications that must be considered. Custody orders decide who gets to make decisions for your minor children and where and with whom your children reside. Family law courts will make determinations involving Michigan child custody, parenting time and child support whenever there is a filing for a divorce or custody case.
Child custody lawyers work with a parent to get the custody and parenting time order you deserve. Call for a consultation in our Monroe County, Michigan office today. We have family law lawyers in Monroe, MI available today!
Child Custody Law
When it comes to custody in Michigan, the law presumes that it is in a child’s best interest to have the strongest possible bonds with both parents. The family law court prefers both parents to be involved with their children. Child custody attorneys work to facilitate the best custody order possible for their clients.
Is there an established custodial environment?
If there is an established custodial environment the family law court will be hesitant to change the children’s custody and visitation routine. Having an established custodial environment can be vey powerful when arguing custody in Michigan. Absent an established custodial environment the court will make several determinations.
Legal vs Physical Custody
Family law courts will look at two forms of custody. Michigan child custody laws are split into two categories: Legal and Physical. Legal custody involves major decisions involving major topics such as medical and educational decisions. Physical custody revolves around day to day decisions.
Michigan Legal Custody is the power a parent has to make decisions about their children’s health, welfare, or education. Legal custody of a child in Michigan refers to the rights that parents have over major decisions about how their children are brought up. A divorce attorney can help explain the full responsibilities of a parent with legal custody.
Physical Custody determines where they’ll live primarily and how much time with each of his parents he gets on average per week. A party with physical custody is often also the custodial parent in Michigan.
Non-custodial parents in Michigan should have access to records and information concerning their children unless the parent is specifically prohibited from having those records by a protective order. These may include school, medical, dental day care and notification of meetings regarding the child’s schooling like a parent teacher conference.
Sole vs Joint Custody
If you’re a parent in Michigan, then it is important to understand the difference between sole custody and joint custody. Sole custodianship means that one individual has primary physical care of the children while parents share legal rights; with this type of arrangement only one person can make decisions about education, religion etc for their children.
Joint custody in Michigan on other hand means both parents have equal say over decision-making processes such as schooling and medical options like immunizations or surgeries. A parent that shares a joint legal custody or joint physical custody order is obligated to consult the other parent when decisions have to be made regarding the children.
Parental Agreements regarding Custody, Parenting time and child support
Parents may come to a parenting plan regarding child custody, parenting time and support without going to family law court. Michigan family law judges attempt to get parents to work out a agreements related to their children amongst themselves.
However, If they are unable reach an agreement between themselves with regards to their children, then those decisions will be made by one of the family law courts. A parenting time lawyer can help parties reach agreements involving their children.
Child Custody Attorneys Can Help!
If you need help with custody law or any other family law issue, contact the Bruce Law Firm! We have child custody lawyers offering a free consultation to discuss your case. Our attorneys can help determine how we can assist you.
Let Bruce Law Firm help ease the pain of divorce for you and your children by fighting for you and your children for a fair and just custody arrangement. A fair custody arrangement is one way of lessening the impact on your family. An experienced child custody lawyer is needed to secure your rights and give you children the best custody arrangement.
Applying Child Custody Laws in Michigan, the “Best Interest” Factors, and How the Family Law Court Decides a Custody Order
Family law judges will make custody decisions if the parents cannot reach an agreement regarding their children. In deciding what party receives custody the family law court looks to what is in the best interest of the child. In the State of Michigan the family law Courts defines the best interest factors in the Child Custody Act MCL 722.23 “Best interests of the child” and is defined.
Sec. 3. As used in this act, “best interests of the child” means the sum total of the following factors to be considered, evaluated, and determined by the family law court:
(a) The love, affection, and other emotional ties existing between the parties involved and the child.
(b) The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to give the child love, affection, and guidance and to continue the education and raising of the child in his or her religion or creed, if any.
(c) The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care or other remedial care recognized and permitted under the laws of this state in place of medical care, and other material needs.
(d) The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment, and the desirability of maintaining continuity.
(e) The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home or homes.
(f) The moral fitness of the parties involved.
(g) The mental and physical health of the parties involved.
(h) The home, school, and community record of the child.
(i) The reasonable preference of the child, if the court considers the child to be of sufficient age to express preference.
(j) The willingness and ability of each of the parties to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent or the child and the parents.
(k) Domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against or witnessed by the child.
(l) Any other factor considered by the court to be relevant to a particular child custody dispute.
These are the factors the judge will evaluate during the family law court proceedings. The court procedures used by the judge will provide evidence on each of these best interest factors. From these determinations the court will draft its own parenting plan.
Clearly a family law lawyer will be needed if you have an evidentiary hearing on these best interest factors. An attorney knows the law and can present your best case. A lawyer will also be familiar with the county courts in place that can vary county by county.
Michigan child custody determination by the Family Law Courts
The judge will not always give equal weight to each factor in a custody case. One factor can heavily weigh in favor of one parent, which could tilt the scales toward that person if negotiations fail and they need help from the family law court.
The family law court must evaluate all factors before making their decision when being called upon by two parents who cannot agree on what is best for themselves or an individual child involved with this disagreement over visitation rights
The Judge after hearing the evidence presented on these factors will make a custody determination. The family law court can award custody to one party or can award joint custody in which case the parties make decisions regarding their children together. If the parties cannot agree a motion must be filed and the family law court will make a determination. You need an experienced child custody attorney to ensure you get the best custodial arrangement.
Michigan Parenting Time and a Parenting Time Schedule
In Michigan, the time each parent will spend with their children is normally put into a written schedule and court order. When parents cannot agree on what this should look like, it’s up to the family law Court to dictate how much time they’ll have in accordance with if there was an agreement or not.
Some family law courts may call for that non-custodial parents get every other weekend as well as one evening during weekdays along with specific holidays throughout the year while others might decide upon something different depending on your circumstances.
Custody cases also require a determination of child support. Child support is determined in part by how many over nights each party receives in the parenting time order. Michigan law requires that parents financially support their children upon the filing of a divorce case or a child custody case.
The amount of financial support is determined by the Michigan Child Support Formula – a guideline which uses specific factors to come up with an appropriate child support amount.
Basically the family law court looks at the number of overnights each parent has as well as their income and determines a support amount. The formula also takes into account child care and medical insurance and expenses.
Free Consultation with an expert Child Custody Lawyer in Michigan
Bruce Law Firm is a well-established law firm with extensive experience in the field of Michigan custody law. If you have concerns about your custody arrangement, please call us. We answer all inquiries promptly and will meet with you for a free consultation to discuss your situation.
Call today to talk to a custody attorney today. We offer phone, office and video appointments.