Sylvan Lake Child Custody Lawyer
Most parents agree that the best interests of the children should take center stage in family law matters. However, most parents also disagree as to what exactly constitutes a particular child’s best interests. For example, a parent might wish to live in a rather secluded neighborhood that is very quiet, especially if the parent works at home. However, it may be in the child’s best interests to live in a busier neighborhood that is also close to their school.
Regardless of the issues involved, the diligent attorneys at the office of Paul J. Tafelski use basically the same methods. Our approach rests on the twin pillars of hard work and open communication. Family law cases are usually not won or lost in dramatic moments. Instead, it is all the moments leading up to the climax that matter most. We also keep the lines of communication open. Our clients are not just our customers; they are our partners.
Some Important Child Custody Factors in Sylvan Lake
Parenting time division is one of the most important issues in any divorce case, and it is also one of the most subjective ones. Because every family is different, and every situation is different, Michigan law sets forth a number of factors to consider in these decisions. These factors are relevant both in pretrial settlement negotiations and at the trial itself. Some of the more significant ones include:
- Ability to Co-Parent: Many Oakland County parents work with bulldog lawyers who turn small issues into big fights. These parents think they are protecting their legal rights, but they may be doing the opposite. Many judges assume that if a parent is combative during the divorce, the parent will be even more combative after the divorce. Such a conclusion weighs in favor of the more cooperative parent.
- Status Quo: As the old saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Most Oakland County judges want to preserve the status quo, even if it is not perfect. This factor emphasizes the importance of assertive representation early on from a Sylvan Lake child custody lawyer. Once the judge makes decisions in the case, even if they are only designed to be temporary, the judge will most likely not undo them.
- Parental Preference: Although they may not admit it, many parents are quite content to be weekend parents. That is especially the case if they previously engaged with the children through trips to the zoo and so on. Instead, most judges prefer that they spend most of their time with a parent who will tell them to brush their teeth and go to bed and not with the “fun” mom or dad.
Other important factors include the mental and physical health of the parents and the child’s preference, if any. Oakland County judges also have broad discretion to consider any other factor they deem to be relevant.
The Parenting Time Determination Process in Sylvan Lak
Most Michigan family law judges order social services investigations in disputed child custody cases. A social worker interviews witnesses, inspects the physical environments and conducts other inquiries. These reports are not binding, but most judges look at them that way.
After the social services investigation is complete, most child custody disputes go to mediation. There, a neutral third party tries to facilitate settlement. This process usually involves some give and take on each side.
Most family law cases settle during mediation. If not, they proceed to trial. That trial usually takes place before a judge without a jury.
Count on a Dedicated Lawyer
Child custody decisions are usually based on a number of factors. For a free consultation with an experienced divorce attorney in Sylvan Lake, contact Paul J. Tafelski, P.C. After hours visits are available.