If you’re facing a divorce, you certainly have plenty of concerns to focus on. However, if your divorce involves children, your child custody arrangements are likely near the top of the list. Child custody law is extremely complicated, and the best way to protect your parental rights is to consult with an experienced Southeast Michigan child custody attorney as soon as you recognize that you may be getting a divorce.
At Harris & Literski, we are committed to helping divorcing parents understand the legal process while we zealously advocate for the parenting plan that they seek. Call us today to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled lawyers.
Legal Custody and Physical Custody
Like many other states, Michigan addresses child custody in terms of both legal custody and physical custody.
Legal custody refers to a parent’s decision-making authority in relation to primary parenting decisions like the following:
- Your children’s schooling
- Your children’s healthcare needs
- Your children’s religious upbringing
- Your children’s participation in extracurricular activities and travel
Legal custody can be sole, which means one parent makes these important decisions on their own, or joint, which means both parents must come to an agreement regarding the concern at hand.
Legal custody addresses the matter of parenting time, which is the schedule that determines when the children are with one parent and when they’re with the other. When parents are able to establish a parenting time schedule that works for them, they can set up a specific schedule or implement reasonable parenting time, which is a more flexible approach that allows parents to schedule as they go – in response to their unique lives. When the court’s intervention is required, parents can expect to receive one of the state’s standard schedules.
The Best Interests of the Children
Michigan courts always prioritize the best interests of the involved children when they make child custody determinations, and some of the primary best interest factors include the following:
- The strength of the bond between the children and each parent
- Each parent’s ability to provide the children with the guidance, love, and affection they need
- Each parent’s ability to provide the children with the food, clothing, and care they need
- Each parent’s overall mental and physical health
- Each parent’s commitment to supporting the other’s close and ongoing relationship with the children
Michigan courts take a special interest in children’s established custodial environment – or the status quo in terms of their home life, their schooling, and their integration into the community. When things are going well, the court isn’t likely to make significant changes – in an effort to protect the children from additional turmoil.
An Experienced Southeast Michigan Child Custody Attorney Can Help
Protecting your parental rights in the face of divorce is key, and the seasoned child custody attorneys at Harris & Literski – proudly serving Southeast Michigan – are standing by to help. We recognize the immediacy of your child custody concerns, and in response, we take a personalized approach that skillfully addresses your unique needs. To learn more about what we can do to help you, please don’t put off reaching out by contactingor calling us at 810-202-9859 today.