The prospect of arranging parenting time and determining child custody issues can be disconcerting for any parent. Stories in the news, popular culture, the media and in the community often raise questions about custody issues in the minds of parents who are facing divorce.
At the Plymouth law firm of Selleck Legal, PLLC, our founding lawyer is well-regarded for her ability to analyze the individual circumstances parents may be facing to create a solid strategy to obtain favorable results in child custody matters. We know that parents love their children and have questions about what the future may hold for their parent-child relationships. Below are a few of the common questions parents have concerning child custody disputes in Michigan.
Does Michigan family law prefer one parent more than the other in determining custody?
Children need to have relationships with both parents. Michigan law seeks to provide children with access to each parent in a general sense. However, every family structure has its own unique circumstances. The Friend of the Court office and the courts evaluate each individual situation to serve the best interests of the children in determining matters concerning custody and parenting time.
For that reason, it is important to work with a skilled lawyer who knows how to investigate and evaluate the facts, and present a strong case to protect the parent-child relationship.
Can my child choose which parent to live with?
The courts weigh many factors in establishing parenting time and custody arrangements. The court may hear evidence concerning the child’s preference, as a subset of many factors. The age, maturity and actual reasons for a child’s preference may also influence whether the court will attach weight to the preference. Placing the child in the middle of the dispute between parents is a concern in custody matters.
The Friend of the Court office may evaluate information to present to the court. It is important to work with a compassionate lawyer who understands the scope of the factors and how they should be handled in your situation.
Can the other parent deny my parenting time if I am behind on child support?
Parenting time cannot be denied due to child support issues. If a dispute exists concerning a parent’s child support obligation or how a current parenting time arrangement is being addressed, seeking guidance concerning a show cause hearing or enforcement action may be the best option.
My circumstances have changed since my divorce, can I seek more time with my child?
Existing orders outlining parenting time, custody arrangements and child support remain enforceable as written. However, substantial changes in circumstances in the years after a divorce may render an existing order unworkable. The family court retains jurisdiction over these matters when minor children are involved. Seeking a modification is the best option when changes in circumstances justify a re-evaluation of the facts.