Child Custody Attorneys With Integrity
We take a creative, compassionate approach to resolve custody battles
When children are involved, divorces and separations have the potential to get ugly. Any sort of legal dispute regarding children can cause strong emotions on both sides, with the children themselves caught in the middle. It's a sad reality of divorce litigation that children often become pawns and witness a great deal of conflict between their parents.
It doesn't have to be that way. A child custody lawyer at the Oliver Law Group, P.C., knows how to help divorcing spouses settle child custody in a fair, amicable and respectful manner. By taking the interests of both parents and children into account, we can help you reach an agreement that serves your family's needs with a minimum of stress.
If both parents are able to enter a written custody or shared parenting agreement and if said agreement complies with Michigan law, the courts will generally enter the order as agreed upon. Several different custody arrangements are possible:
- Legal custody determines the ability to make important life decisions for the child, such as health, education and general welfare. In a shared legal custody arrangement, both parents have the ability to make these decisions and are expected to consult with each other on non-routine matters. If one parent has sole legal custody, he or she can make all of these decisions unilaterally.
- Physical custody determines the actual physical residence of the child. In a shared physical custody arrangement, the child maintains a residence with both parents, typically with one as the primary custodian and the other having a set schedule of parenting time. In a sole physical custody arrangement, the child resides exclusively with one parent. The other parent may or may not have visitation rights or parenting time.
When both parties cannot come to an agreement on custody and parenting time, the court system will make a decision based on the best interests of the child. Factors involved in this decision include:
- The emotional ties between the parents and the child
- The capacity of each party to provide for the child's physical and emotional needs
- The permanence of the living situation
- The mental health and moral fitness of the parties involved
- The ability to develop a positive parent-child relationship
- Any history of domestic violence, regardless of whether it was witnessed by or directed against the child
- If the child is old enough, the stated preference of the child
The courts may also consider any other factors they find to be relevant.
Child Custody and Child Support
Custody of the children and child support payments are two separate but interconnected issues. In shared physical custody arrangements, child support is usually awarded to the child's primary custodian; that is, the parent with more overnight visits. However, other circumstances such as each party's net income can affect the support award. Note also that the courts handle child support and parenting time separately. If one parent is entitled to visitation or parenting time by court order, that parent retains those rights even if he or she has unpaid child support; likewise, a parent who has not been given visitation or parenting time may still be ordered to pay child support.
How We Help Parents with Custody Disputes
Child custody is a complex legal issue with many different facets to be considered. Our family law attorneys can help you navigate all sorts of custody issues, including:
- Child visitation rights
- Parenting time
- Timing of custody arrangements
- Amendments to existing custody arrangements
- Termination of parental rights
We understand that cases involving children can be exceptionally challenging, and we're here to provide the individualized, compassionate representation you need to navigate these issues. Our attorneys will fight for your best interests, from the initial free consultation to the resolution of your case. We aggressively protect our clients' parental rights and approach every case with an eye for creative solutions.