By: Robert J. Stelmock, Divorce Attorney & Mediator at Stelmock Law Firm, PC
There are few things more stressful and emotionally fraught than a child custody or parenting time case. As a parent, you are worried about being able to protect your rights to see and care for your children. Unfortunately, Michigan’s child custody and parenting time laws are complex. Obtaining the parenting time that you desire is not as easy as simply showing up to the courtroom and asking for it. Furthermore, the mistakes you make could impact your matter for yours.
In any case where custody or parenting time of your child is at stake, representation by an experienced Michigan child custody and parenting attorney is critical to protect the best interests of your child and ensure that your fundamental right to make decisions that will guide your child’s life is protected.
When considering the award of custody and parenting time Michigan Family Law Judges will consider the following:
- Is there an established custodial environment?
If an established custodial environment exists with one parent then custody can be changed only upon a showing of clear and convincing evidence that there has been significant change in circumstances and that the custody change is in the best interests of the child. Child Custody Act, MCL 722.27(1)(c).
- What are the best interest of the minor children?
Any child custody dispute in the state of Michigan, whether it be a dispute over legal custody, physical custody, or both, is determined by the Court through an evaluation using the Best Interest of the Child factors set forth in MCL 722.23. http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(4m4t4jigenupmzym1lkhchjc))/mileg.aspx?page=GetObject&objectname=mcl-722-23
The law requires the Court to consider each and every one of these factors, and to place onto the official record of proceeding its finding regarding each factor, when making child custody determinations.
It should be noted that the statute does not require the Courts to consider each factor equally, but rather only requires the Court to take each factor into account. Some factors will be more relevant, and thus carry greater weight, depending on the facts and circumstances involved in the particular case. The Courts are granted the discretion to weigh each of the factors as they see fit in making their determination of custody.
- Parenting Time Factors.
In order to determine the length, frequency and type of parenting time, the court considers several factors (MCL 722.27a)
Your specific situation may be somewhat different from the norm; please call,734.927.9782, the Canton Michigan Custody Lawyers and Family Law Attorneys at Stelmock Law Firm, PC to discuss your matter. We represent clients in the Metro Detroit area (Canton, Plymouth, Northville, Livonia, Westland, Ann Arbor, Novi) and throughout Wayne, Washtenaw, Oakland, and Livingston counties. The firm’s office is located at 8556 N. Canton Center Road, Canton, Michigan 48187.