THIS IS AN ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT. The Michigan Child Custody Act presumes it is in the best interests of a child to have a strong relationship with both parents. The other parent may or may not have parenting time or visitation rights. Child custody can be modified if there is proper cause or a change in circumstances. In Michigan, it is the job of the Friend of the Court to investigate and make recommendations on child custody, parenting time and support. Sole legal custody gives one parent all decision-making responsibilities. The UCCA helps eliminate legal conflicts when custody issues cross state boundaries, such as when a non-custodial parent moves out of the state. The factors a judge considers are: In order to get more parenting time with your children you have to show the court that you can handle the time and that you are genuinely interested in raising your children. The court must determine the degree to which each parent has complied with court orders and utilized their parenting time. Giana Messore licensed in AR only – Little Rock, AR. Michelle Ferreri licensed in PA and NJ only - Philadelphia, PA. Dorothy Walsh Ripka licensed in OH, IL, MO, KY and TX only. A custodial parent is a parent who has the child living with him or her and has primary care, custody and responsibility for the child. The amount of child support will depend on the numbers input into the formula. Giana Messore licensed in AR only – Little Rock, AR. Gather your evidence and witnesses. Grandparents do not, by default, have custody and visitation rights. Find a routine that works for you and your kids and stick to it. The judge is a fact finder and can only determine what facts exist based on the evidence put in front of him or her. Fathers have an uphill battle in most courts, but the battle can be fought and won with proper preparation by the father and his attorney. In Michigan, a child’s preference is just one of twelve factors the judge will consider; a child cannot just decide to live with one parent. Joint legal custody gives both parents the right to make these decisions and they should consult with one another before making non-routine decisions. No. In Michigan, all child custody decisions must be in the best interests of the children. Legal custody is the ability to make important life decisions for your child, such as health care, education, child care and general welfare. The parties can also negotiate a child custody agreement, and the judge will adopt it if he/she finds it is in the best interests of the children. Child support is almost always awarded to the parent who has the most overnight visits. If you don’t show something to the judge, he or she will not know it. Although the statutes are written gender neutral, and the Child Custody Act presumes it is in the best interests of the child to maintain a relationship with both parents, many courts still award primary custody to the mother. Who will get custody of our child? Judges usually interview children in their chambers, away from both parents. You have to bring information to court that will show the judge it is in the children’s best interests to spend as much time as possible with you. At any time, either party can petition the court to turn the JSM into a Judgment of Divorce, ending the marriage between the parties. Jerrad Ahrens licensed in NE and IA only. A parent petitioning for a child’s name change must notify the other parent and any interested parties and allow them an opportunity to object to the name change at a hearing. Ex parte orders are usually entered when the divorce case is filed or in emergency circumstances. The party seeking to get the order entered must allege sufficient facts for the judge to find that imminent danger or harm could occur in the time it would take to give notice to the other party. Keeping a journal and having witnesses that can testify about your time with your child are two strong sources of evidence. It is important to have a default parenting plan to fall back on if disagreements occur. All custody is slightly impacted by provisions on parenting time (Child Custody … In Michigan, it is a crime for an adoptive or natural parent of a child to take the child, or retain the child for more than 24 hours, with the intent to detain or conceal the child from the other parent who has parenting time rights, the adoptive parents, or any other person in charge of the child at the time of the taking. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. The amount of support will depend on income, overnight visits and other costs. If visitation or parenting time was established under a court order, you could be held in contempt for not allowing the visitation. Supervised parenting time should only be used when other, less restrictive methods of ensuring the child’s well-being cannot be used. A Guardian ad Litem can be used in a child custody case if there is a question about the parent’s ability to make decisions that are in the best interests of the child. Physical custody refers to the actual physical residence of the child. When a child testifies, the goal is to minimize any harm that can be done to them. If there is an established custodial environment, the party petitioning the court to change it has to prove that the change is in the child’s best interests by clear and convincing evidence. The Friend of the Court will issue a recommendation based on information gathered from each parent. The Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act is a federal statute that gives Michigan the ability to enforce custody orders from other states to prevent parental kidnapping. If the parents cannot agree on a custody arrangement the court will hold a trial. The court must be satisfied that the move will improve the quality of life for the child and the relocating parent. The Michigan Child Custody Act presumes it is in the best interests of a child to have a strong relationship with both parents. Before your custody trial, get as involved with your kids as you can, and document everything you do. A child custody case can usually be decided without subjecting the child to the court process. Parental kidnapping is a felony punishable by up to 1 year in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000.

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