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If you are a parent considering filing for divorce or currently going through the divorce process, determining a child custody arrangement will be part of the process for you. This is the process of determining the best allocation of parenting time and parental duties to meet your child’s personal, social, medical, psychological, and academic needs. Your child custody arrangement is known as a parenting plan. Reaching a fair parenting plan that adequately meets a child’s needs can be a fairly complicated process.
There are two elements of a child custody arrangement: physical custody and legal custody of the child. Both types of custody may be given to the parents jointly or given to one parent solely.
Physical custody is the role of providing a home for one’s child and all that comes with the home, such as household goods and daily meals. When one parent is given sole custody of their child, the other may be given visitation rights, also known as parenting time. However, this is done at the court’s discretion.
Legal custody is the role of making decisions on a child’s behalf. Legal custody entitles a parent to choose a child’s school, make medical decisions for the child, and determine the child’s religious upbringing.
To determine an appropriate parenting plan for a child, Michigan courts work with individuals known as Friends of the Court to make determine the family dynamics at play in a child’s life and how best to nourish the child’s development while maintaining healthy, consistent relationships with both parents. The following factors are used to make decisions about a parenting plan:
Your lawyer is your advocate. He or she will guide you through each part of the child custody determination process and other aspects of your divorce, such as the division of your property. With regard to your child custody determination, your lawyer will help you obtain the documents you need to demonstrate your fitness as a parent and walk you through each interaction with the court.
Child custody can be a complicated, emotional issue to tackle. To make it easier, educate yourself about how child custody is determined and what you need to do as a parent going through the divorce process. To learn more and discuss your particular child custody case, contact our team of Birmingham child custody lawyers at Iafrate & Salassa, P.C. today to schedule your initial consultation with our firm.