One of the most crucial aspects of a Michigan divorce is determining custody for minor children. When parents can agree on child custody, the arrangement can be entered as part of a court order; if they cannot reach a compromise, the court will make the determination. In either situation, the law is highly complex and any mistakes in the process can have unfortunate, costly consequences.
We’re committed to representing parents in all types of child custody matters, so we can help with negotiating and executing an agreement. However, where it’s not possible to reach an accord, we’ll fight to protect your interests in court.
There are multiple issues involved with custody matters under Michigan law, which encourages parents to agree on various aspects of child custody arrangements. A court will make the decision where they cannot compromise. Keep in mind that paramount consideration throughout the process of establishing custody these cases is the child’s best interests.
Depending on your circumstances, you may need to address:
Established Custodial Environment (ECE): Before deciding custody, the judge must determine the existence of an ECE and whether the child naturally turns to the custodial parent for guidance, discipline, and basic necessities. If there is an ECE, a judge may not change custody absent a change in circumstances; note, however, that there may be elements of an ECE with both parents.
Types of Custody Arrangements: Outside of sole custody, where one parent possesses all custodial rights, most parents will face one of two types of joint custody:
Parenting Time: Michigan law requires a court to allow parenting time to a non-custodial parent unless there is clear evidence that doing so would be contrary to the child’s best interests.
Child custody matters can be challenging under Michigan law, so it’s important to retain a skilled, knowledgeable attorney to represent your interests. When you’re able to agree on an arrangement, it’s necessary to draw up the necessary documents for the court order; where there’s a dispute, you need a qualified lawyer to fight for your rights in court. At Benson & Associates, PLLC, our legal team is beside you every step of the way. To hear more about our child custody and family law services, please call 248-357-3550 or contact us online. We’ve been representing clients throughout Oakland, Wayne, and Macomb Counties for more than 70 years, and we’re here to help.
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