Child Custody FAQs

Clinton Township Child Custody Lawyers

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When going through child custody proceedings, there are a number of questions that may arise. Below are the most frequently asked questions about child custody in Michigan:

What is Custody?

In custody proceedings, Michigan courts will decide on two types of child custody. The first is legal custody, which gives a parent the right to make major life decisions for the child. These include decisions about the child’s education, religion, and medical care. The court can award sole legal custody to one parent, or joint legal custody to both. The courts typically try to award joint legal custody.
Physical custody will determine who the child will live with. When joint physical custody is awarded, the child will live with one parent a majority of the time, and the other parent will have parenting time. If the court awards sole custody to one parent, the child will only reside with that parent. The non-custodial parent may or may not be awarded parenting time.

When is Child Custody Decided?

A Friend of the Court will make a decision regarding custody early in the case. The Friend of the Court first gathers information from each parent and makes a recommendation to the judge. Each parent has the right to object to this recommendation and present evidence showing why a different recommendation should be made.

When this is the case, and the parents cannot agree on child custody, a trial will take place. During the trial, each side argues why his or her proposed custody arrangement is best for the child. When a case goes to trial, it will often take much longer.
If the parents can agree on child custody, a judge will review the agreement. If they find it fair and in the child’s best interests, they will approve it. When this is the case, child custody hearings proceed much more quickly.

How is Custody Decided?

In Michigan, judges must take the best interests of the child into consideration when making decisions on child custody matters. There are 12 factors considered. A few of these include the relationship of the child with each parent, the moral fitness of the parties involved, and the length of time a child has lived in a stable environment.

Does My Child Have a Say in Child Custody?

The child’s preference is one of the 12 factors taken into consideration when determining what is in the child’s best interests. The court will only consider the child’s preference if he or she is of an age of maturity to make such a decision.

If I am Awarded Custody, Will I Also be Awarded Child Support?

Child support is based on the Michigan Child Support Formula. Typically, child support is awarded to the parent who spends the most amount of time with the child. 

Have More Questions? Speak to a Michigan Child Custody Attorney

These are only some of the most frequently asked questions in Michigan child custody hearings. If you are considering seeking a divorce and need help with your case, contact our child custody attorneys in Michigan at Iafrate & Salassa, P.C. We will answer all of your questions and present evidence to back up your claims to get you the most favorable terms possible. Call us today or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.

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