Determining legal and physical child custody and parenting time language during an uncontested divorce can be difficult.  Typically, people have an idea of what they want, they are unsure of how to put what they want in a judgement or in “legal terms”.  This often time results if fighting because of misunderstandings between the parties.

 

LEGAL CUSTODY

Typically everyone has joint legal custody.  This allows for the parties to discuss and decide major issues in the child’s life.  Also, it allows both parties to get medical care for the child and have access to medical and school records.  It is very common to have joint legal custody.

 

 PHYSICAL CUSTODY

Child custody is determined by what is in the best interest of the child.  The best interest of the child determine physical custody.  Physical custody is where the child primarily resides and the person that primarily care for the child.  The best interest of the child  means the sum total of the following factors to be considered, evaluated, and determined by the court. These factors are his follows:

  • The love and affection and other emotional ties between the parties involved and the child.
  • Capacity and disposition of the parties involved to give the child love, affection, and guidance and continuation of the educating and raising of a child in a particular religion or creed.
  • Capacity and disposition of the parties involved to provide the child with the necessities of life.
  • The length of time the child has lived in a stable and satisfactory environment.
  • The performance, as a family unit, or the existence or proposed custodial home.
  • The moral fitness of the parties.
  • The mental and physical health of the parties.
  • The home, school, and community record of the child.
  • The reasonable preference of the child, if the court determines the child is of sufficient age to express a preference.
  • The willingness and abilities of each party to facilitate encourage a continuing relationship between child and the other parent.
  • Domestic violence.
  • Any other factors that the court considered to be relevant in a particular case.

These factors do not have equal weight.  Typically the court looks at who is primarily caring for the child.  If both parents are care for the child, the court can enter an order for joint physical custody.  Joint physical custody doesn’t require equal time.

 

PARENTING TIME

Parenting time is the schedule that the parties follow in spending time with the child.  The amount of overnights can effect child support. Typically the parties split weekends, holidays, vacation time, and summer time.  The dispute usually arises with midweek time during school.  This can be divided by what works best for the children and parents.

Child custody is a complicated area of domestic relations law. The specific facts and circumstances of a case can greatly change the outcome of a case. A person should not attempt to handle a custody case without the assistance of an attorney. You should retain the assistance of an attorney who has handled child custody matters in the past and has experience in the field of domestic relations. Michigan law requires that the court consider what is in the best interest of the child when determining appropriate parenting time.  Parenting time is the new politically correct term for visitation. The court can consider a number of different factors in formulating a visitation schedule.  The primary factors the court usually considers is the age of the child, the work schedules of parties, transportation, the need to maintain a stable environment for the child, and the need to facilitate a close and continuing relationship with the noncustodial parent.  The court can order visitation that is extremely liberal or very restrictive.  In some cases, the court will order visitation to be supervised by another adult for only a few hours per week.  In other circumstances the court will order visitation which would include every weekend, every other holiday, half of all school vacations, and one-half or all of summer vacation.  The amount of overnights can significantly change the amount of support paid.  The more overnights that are exercised reduces the support obligation.

A person should consult with an experienced divorce attorney who practices extensively in domestic relations law when faced with a parenting time problem or a modification parenting time.  Such modifications can alter the amount of child support that the custodial parent receives and possibly resultant in a changing custody.
 

GRAND RAPIDS DIVORCE ATTORNEYS

If you are facing an uncontested divorce, a good divorce attorney can answer your questions with straight talk. Having the right divorce attorney on your side can relieve your stress during this difficult situation. Our attorneys have over 85 years of divorce experience.  Typical fees to retain attorney for a divorce case can be as little as 1,500 dollars. Considering the seriousness of this life changing event, it is extremely important to retain the services of an experienced attorney in the area of divorce.

Krupp Law Offices P.C. is located in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan and has the right divorce attorney for you. We represent clients in all divorce matters throughout West Michigan, , including the cities of Grand Rapids, Big Rapids, Ionia, Grand Haven, Stanton, Greenville, Wayland, Allegan, Holland, Newaygo, White Cloud, Fremont, Coopersville, Hastings, Middleville, Wyoming, and Rockford including Kent County, Ottawa County, Newaygo County, Ionia County, Mecosta County, Barry County, Montcalm County, and Allegan County Michigan. 

KRUPP LAW OFFICES P.C.
161 Ottawa NW Suite 201
Grand Rapids MI 49503
616-459-6636 or mail@krupplaw.com

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