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Parental custody is an emotional topic for many parents. When the parents of a child separate, the mother and father must realize that they have legal rights and they should contact a lawyer immediately. 


A lawyer well versed in child custody issues can help guide the parent along in the process. “It is especially important that fathers who are not married to their child’s mother contact a lawyer immediately,” Lawyer Mike Van Tubergen advised.  “If a dad has been served papers to establish an order for child support (or any other legal document pertaining to his child) he must understand that once an order is established, his rights are basically established.  In Michigan, there is a presumption that the mother has sole legal and physical custody if the parents are not married.  If the father does not stand up for his rights in this type of situation, the mother will have all the rights regarding the child which can have many negative effects.  Acting quickly and talking to a lawyer as soon as the father is no longer with the mother is critical.”  



According to Lawyer John Hayes, a mother must also know her rights.”If a mother has been served with a custody action, it can significantly impact her rights, so it is extremely important that she have an attorney who is knowledgable and can represent her interests properly to protect her rights.”



Regardless if a couple is getting divorced, legally separated or just ending their relationship, if there are children involved, things can be very complicated which is why a lawyer is always needed. “We suggest that the moment a couple separates, they seek legal counsel,” Hayes advised. “Some people wait a while before they call a lawyer because they are afraid of how much money they might have to spend or because they are scared of the process. The sooner a person calls a lawyer, the better off they will be and the smoother the process will go. At our law firm, we offer a free 30 minute consultation so parents can ask us questions and we can help them understand their parental rights before they spend any money.”

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