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Child Custody Attorneys in Grand Haven MI | Ottawa County Child Custody Lawyers

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Custody in Michigan

Custody disputes, when they occur, can be very stressful for the parents, and traumatic to the children.

Two Types of Custody: Legal and Physical

Parents can share Legal Custody which is referred to as “Joint Legal Custody” or one parent may be awarded Legal Custody which means one parent has “Sole Legal Custody”.

If the parties are awarded “Joint Legal Custody” then each parent shares in decision-making regarding the children and parents must consult with one another to make decisions including schooling, religion, medical issues and other important child-rearing issues.

Joint Legal Custody also provides each parent with access to their children’s health and medical records. However, in some cases one parent will be awarded “Sole Legal Custody.” In these cases, the parent with Sole Legal Custody does not have to consult with the other parent regarding important issues involving the minor child.

The second form of Custody is known as “Physical Custody.” Physical custody as shared between the parents is referred to as “Joint Physical Custody” or one parent may be awarded Physical Custody which means one parent has “Primary Physical Custody.”

“Joint Physical Custody” means that the parents attempt to share parenting time with the children on a more or less equal basis. This generally occurs when the parents can cooperate with one another for the best interest of the children.

Factors used as outlined in the Best Interest of the Child Standard are as follows:

  • The love and affection and other emotional ties between the parties involved and the child.
  • Capacity and disposition of the parties involved to give the child love, affection, and guidance and continuation of the educating and raising of a child in a particular religion or creed.
  • Capacity and disposition of the parties involved to provide the child with the necessities of life.
  • The length of time the child has lived in a stable and satisfactory environment.
  • The performance, as a family unit, or the existence or proposed custodial home.
  • The moral fitness of the parties.
  • The mental and physical health of the parties.
  • The home, school, and community record of the child.
  • The reasonable preference of the child, if the court determines the child is of sufficient age to express a preference.
  • The willingness and abilities of each party to facilitate encourage a continuing relationship between child and the other parent.
  • Domestic violence.
  • Any other factors that the court considered to be relevant in a particular case.

However, in cases where the parents cannot cooperate with one another, a judge may intervene and decide what is best for the child or children.  Contact the Child Custody Attorneys at Van Tubergen & Treutler, PLLC, for a free initial consultation.  616-844-3000

Often times, parents question when the preference of his/her child becomes relevant to the court’s determination. Simply put, as the child gets older and matures the court will give more credibility and weight to the child’s preference. The Judges will usually begin considering the child’s preference around age eight (8), but will give the preference of a child 15 or older more weight.

Custody is very complex. There are various burdens of proof which can impact the outcome of a case. It is recommended that if you are involved in, or are looking to initiate a custody action, that you retain the services of an experienced law firm such as Van Tubergen, Treutler & Hayes, PLLC, with experience in domestic relations law.  Contact us today for a free initial consultation.  616-844-3000

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