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Waldenburg Child Custody Lawyer

Waldenburg Child Custody Lawyer

When a divorcing couple has one or more minor children, a child custody order is part of their divorce settlement. This is the document that outlines the time the child will spend in each parent’s home and each parent’s responsibilities for the child in the years following the parents’ divorce.

A child custody order can be modified when it no longer suits a child’s needs. When parents agree to a modification, this is a simple process. When a parent contests a proposed modification, the parent seeking the change must demonstrate to the court why the proposed new plan is in the child’s best interest.

Legal and Physical Custody

Child custody has two components:

  • Legal custody, the right to make important decisions on the child’s behalf; and
  • Physical custody, the responsibility of providing the child with a home.

Parents can have joint custody in either or both categories, or one parent can have sole custody in either or both categories. When the court determines the right physical and legal custody arrangement for a child, the resulting order is known as a parenting plan.

How Do Michigan Courts Determine Child Custody Arrangements?

Michigan courts use a set of criteria known as the “12 Best Interest Factors” to determine the most appropriate legal and physical custody arrangement for a child’s needs. As their name suggests, these factors are meant to help the court determine the child’s best interest and craft an arrangement that serves them.

The factors are:

  1. The emotional ties between the child and each parent;
  2. Each parent’s ability to provide the child with affection, supporting his or her continued education and, when applicable, the child’s continued religious training;
  3. Each parent’s ability to provide the child with nutritious food, a safe home, medical care, clothing, and when applicable, specialized support for the child’s unique health or educational needs;
  4. How long the child has lived in a stable environment and the desirability of maintaining that environment;
  5. The permanence of each parent’s existing or proposed home environment;
  6. Each parent’s moral fitness;
  7. Each parent’s mental and physical health status;
  8. The child’s home, school, and community records;
  9. Each parent’s willingness to cooperate with the court and the other parent for the child’s benefit;
  10. Any history of domestic violence in the family, whether the child witnessed it or experienced it firsthand;
  11. If the child is deemed old enough to articulate a well-reasoned preference, his or her opinion; and
  12. Any other factor the court deems relevant to the specific situation.

Work with an Experienced Waldenburg Child Custody Lawyer

As a parent, your child custody arrangement is likely the most important part of your divorce settlement. Work with a family lawyer who can be your advocate and work on your behalf to seek an appropriate custody arrangement for your child. To get started with our team at Iafrate & Salassa, P.C., contact our firm to set up your free legal consultation in our office.

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