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Grand Rapids Child Custody Attorneys

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Child custody is one of the most complicated parts of the divorce process. Emotions run high, and the court must evaluate every minute detail of your life to determine a fair custody agreement.

At Willis Law, we understand that child custody is a serious legal matter, so we treat these cases with the utmost compassion and care. We work with you to understand your situation and create a strategy to meet your goals.

Call our Grand Rapids child custody lawyers at (888) 461-7744.

Child Custody in Michigan

Michigan encourages both parents to share parental responsibilities even after divorce. The court will make the final determination regarding custody based on several important financial and emotional factors.

The judge will evaluate the following:

  • The age of the child
  • The current relationship between parent and child
  • Financial capability of both parents
  • The child's preference
  • History of domestic violence or abuse
  • The moral fitness of both parents

Joint custody, where both parents share physical custody, is only granted upon request. In other words, you do not automatically get joint custody of your child unless you request it from the court. Unless the court finds that joint custody is not in the child's best interest, the case will move on to the parenting plan.

Parenting Time

Michigan calls visitation "parenting time." Essentially, this is the time the noncustodial parent spends with their child. If one parent gains physical custody of the child, the other parent may visit their child through parenting time. In cases where the court finds evidence of harmful behavior, parenting time may be supervised by a relative or designated chaperone.

For many parents, creating a parenting plan is straightforward. Both parents discuss schedules and work together to create a parenting plan that works for them and their child.

However, in cases where a parenting plan is complicated or one parent lives out of state, the court will likely need to interfere to help the parents reach a resolution.

The child cannot choose where they live until they turn 18. Until they are legal adults, the court decides for them based on what the judge believes to be the child's best interests. The judge may consider the child's opinion, especially if the child is older. In other words, the court is more likely to take the opinion of a 15-year-old over a five-year-old.

Will My Custody Case Go to Court?

Your custody case will likely go to court to ensure that the final custody arrangement is in the child's best interests. A judge is an impartial third party who may offer suggestions based on evidence instead of emotion which can be helpful in many custody cases.

Creating a parenting plan does not necessarily need to involve the court, but if you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement, the court may need to intervene. Otherwise, the judge will need to verify that the parenting plan is fair, and your case can move on.

It is important to note that not all custody cases are cut and dry. Some families need the court's intervention, and in some cases, the court acts as an advocate for the child in dangerous situations. If you are concerned about the outcome of your custody case, speak to an attorney as soon as possible.

Legal Advocates Who Fight for You

Child custody is no small matter, and at Willis Law, we provide compassionate counsel to help you navigate this difficult time. Our highly qualified attorneys have the experience you need to ensure that your child's best interests come first. The team at Willis Law stands with our clients at every step of their case.

Schedule your free initial case consultation with our Grand Rapids child custody attorney today.

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