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Kalamazoo Child Custody Lawyers

Compassionate Guidance for Child Custody Cases

Child custody matters can be emotionally charged. Both you and your child's other parent want to maintain a healthy and loving relationship with your child, but when you are not together, determining who your child lives with and who makes decisions on their behalf can be challenging. Because these cases are so sensitive and important, having a lawyer on your side can help as you pursue a resolution in the best interests of you and your child.

At Willis Law, our Kalamazoo child custody attorneys are here to provide the compassionate and supportive guidance you need throughout your case. We understand the importance of being actively involved in your child's life and having a say in matters concerning their development. That is why we take the time to understand your goals and needs and craft a strategy to seek the best possible outcome for your family. At every step in your case, we will be beside you to answer questions, address your concerns, and zealously advocate for you.

To schedule a consultation with one of our child custody lawyers in Kalamazoo, call us at (888) 461-7744 or contact us online today.

What Types of Child Custody Arrangements Are There in Michigan?

Child custody refers to the rights and responsibilities of each parent. In other words, what decision-making authority each parent has for their child. Child custody matters also concern who a child lives with and how much time they spend with each parent.

In Michigan, several kinds of child custody arrangements are possible:

  • Sole custody: If a judge decides that it is in the best interests of the child that only one parent is primarily responsible for making decisions on behalf of the child and providing a place to live, they will grant sole custody. When sole custody is granted, the non-custodial parent may be awarded parenting time, commonly referred to as visitation.
  • Joint custody: If a judge determines that both parents will be able to work together to provide for the well-being of their child, they may grant joint custody. Two types of joint custody can be awarded:
  1. Physical custody: This concerns who the child will live with.
  2. Legal custody: This concerns which parent makes major decisions about the child's upbringing, such as medical care, education, religious instruction, and extracurricular activities.

If parents are granted joint physical custody, the child will live with each parent for a certain amount of time. The time spent with each parent may or may not be split equally.

If parents are granted joint legal custody, they will share decision-making responsibilities for their child. This requires a great deal of cooperation between the parents.

For an in-depth discussion of the different types of child custody in Michigan and the ways joint and sole custody may be awarded, reach out to our Kalamazoo child custody attorneys today.

How Is Child Custody Determined in Michigan?

There are a couple of different ways child custody may be determined. First, parents can work together to come up with an arrangement on their own. They must decide not only on who the child will live with and who will make major decisions but also how parenting time will work. If the parents can reach an agreement, they can have the judge review it for approval.

However, if the parents cannot decide on custody matters, they must have their case settled in court. The judge will determine custody and parenting time based on the best interests of the child.

Under MCL § 722.23, the factors considered when determining what's in the best interests of the child include, but are not limited to:

  • Emotional ties between parents and child
  • Ability of each parent to provide the love and guidance the child needs
  • Ability of each parent to fulfill the child's basic needs (e.g., food, clothing, medical care)
  • How long the child has lived in a stable environment and the likelihood that it continues
  • Permanence of family unit
  • Moral fitness of each parent
  • Mental and physical health of each parent
  • Child's ties to home, school, and the community
  • Reasonable preference of the child
  • Ability of each parent to encourage the child to maintain a relationship with the other parent
  • History of domestic violence (if any)

Whether you are seeking to establish an arrangement with your child's other parent or your case must be presented in front of a judge, our child custody lawyers in Kalamazoo are ready to provide the assistance you need.

Can a Child Custody Order Be Modified in Michigan?

When a final custody arrangement has been approved, each parent must abide by the provisions. Failure to do so could result in legal action against the non-complying parent.

If the child's or a parent's situation has substantially changed, they may request that the order be modified. Before determining whether to grant the request, the judge will once again consider what is in the best interests of the child.

Legal Advocacy for Your Child Custody Case in MI

At Willis Law, we have extensive experience helping parents through child custody matters, and we understand how difficult this time can be for you. We will provide sound counsel and support throughout your case.

For a free consultation with one of our Kalamazoo child custody attorneys, contact us at (888) 461-7744.

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