Michigan Child Custody Attorney Helping Clients in Sterling Heights
Child custody cases in Michigan can be extremely emotional for the parents and children alike. When parents make the decision to get divorced and there are children from the marriage, they will also need to plan for a child custody case in which the court will decide what is in the best interests of the minor child or children. It is extremely important to have a Sterling Heights child custody lawyer on your side to advocate for your right to custody and parenting time.
If you have questions or concerns about child custody in Michigan, do not hesitate to get in touch with a compassionate child custody attorney at the law office of Paul J. Tafelski.
Understanding the Different Types of Child Custody in Sterling Heights
There are two different types of child custody under Michigan law:
- Legal custody, which gives the parent or parents the ability to make important decisions that affect the welfare of the child; and
- Physical custody, which gives the parent or parents the ability to spend time with the child and to have parenting time.
Legal custody can be sole or joint, meaning that one parent can have sole legal custody or the parents can share joint legal custody. Similarly, one parent can have sole physical custody or parents can share joint physical custody. Just because one parent has sole legal custody does not mean that the parents will not share joint physical custody. The fact that one parent is responsible for making important decisions that affect the child’s welfare does not necessarily have any bearing on the other parent’s ability or right to have parenting time.
Factors a Sterling Heights Court Considers in Child Custody Cases
The primary standard that courts in Michigan use to determine child custody is known as the “best interests of the child.” In other words, the court puts the child’s best interests first and awards custody based on that standard. To determine what is in the best interests of the child, the court looks at a number of different factors in the Michigan Child Custody Act, including but not limited to the following:
- Love, affection, and emotional ties that currently exist between the parent(s) and the child;
- Capacity for the parties to give the child love, affection, and guidance;
- Capacity for the parties to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care, and any other care that would be necessary;
- Length of time that the child or children already have lived in a stable environment and the ability to maintain that stable environment through a custody arrangement;
- Permanence of the custodial home(s);
- Moral fitness of the parties;
- Physical health of the parties;
- Mental health of the parties;
- Child’s home, school, and community record;
- Child’s reasonable preference if the child is old enough;
- Willingness of parents to cooperate and to encourage the child’s close relationship with both parents; and
- Domestic violence.
Learn More from a Sterling Heights Child Custody Attorney
Do you need assistance with a child custody case? A dedicated Sterling Heights child custody attorney can speak with you today about your situation. Contact the law office of Paul J. Tafelski to learn more about how we serve families in Michigan.