a toddler boy using the monkey bars in a park with his mom holding him up child custody

One of the most sensitive issues that divorcing parents in Metro Detroit face is child custody. These disputes can be emotionally challenging for everyone involved, so you need a qualified lawyer to guide you. Whether you are considering divorce or are an unmarried parent seeking custody of your child, turn to The Nunley Law Group. 

Knowing that nothing is more important than your relationship with your child, we will work to find a creative custody and parenting time solution. We prefer to resolve custody issues through mediation, but we are prepared to protect your parental rights in family court. Let us help you and your family find a workable solution. Contact our St. Clair Shores office today to schedule your initial consultation. 

About Child Custody in Michigan 

Michigan has two types: legal custody and physical custody:

  • Legal custody refers to each parent’s right to make decisions about a child’s upbringing, such as their education, religious upbringing, and medical care. 
  • Physical custody refers to where the child primarily lives.

The court’s primary consideration is the child’s best interests. The court will look at various factors, such as:

  • The child’s relationship with each parent
  • Each parent’s ability to provide for the child’s needs
  • The child’s preference (if they are mature enough to express one)

The court may also consider other factors, such as the child’s school and community ties.

Types of Child Custody

Parents in Metro Detroit may agree on, or the courts may grant, joint or sole custody:

  • Joint custody means both parents have legal and physical custody of the child. They have equal decision-making authority and share the physical custody of the child. 
  • Sole custody means one parent has physical custody of the child. In this case, the other parent may have visitation rights or parenting time.

Although the courts generally favor joint legal custody arrangements, they will only grant joint physical custody if both parents can mutually agree on the division of overnights, weekends, and holidays. On the other hand, the court may award sole custody if it finds evidence of abuse or neglect or determines one parent is unfit. 

How the Metro Detroit Courts Resolve Custody Cases

When a dispute arises, parents can work out an agreement through mediation or negotiation. However, if they cannot reach an agreement, the court will determine the custody arrangement,

In some cases, the court may order an evaluation of the family to gather information about the family dynamics, each parent’s ability to be a parent, and the child’s needs. The court may also appoint a guardian ad litem, an attorney appointed to represent the child’s interests. 

Modifications and Enforcement

Our experienced child custody attorney regularly assists parents with modifying and enforcing support orders. These arrangements may need to be modified if there is a significant change in circumstances. For example, a modification may be necessary if a parent wants to move to a different state or if a child’s needs change. In any event, the court will consider the best interests of the child when deciding whether to modify a custody arrangement.

Moreover, if one parent violates an order, the other can seek enforcement through the court. The court may enforce the order and even hold the non-compliant parent in contempt of court, which can result in fines or jail time. However, imprisonment is not likely, given that an incarcerated parent cannot earn an income to pay child support.

Why You Need a Child Custody Attorney

Because custody disputes can be complex and emotional, having informed legal representation can help protect your rights and safeguard your child’s best interests. Our St. Clair Shores child custody attorney can guide you on custody, visitation rights, and child support issues, help negotiate an agreement, represent you in family court, and protect your parental rights. 

Whether you are divorcing or separating from your partner, this is a sensitive issue that requires careful consideration. Working with an experienced family law attorney is the best way to protect your rights and prioritize your child’s best interests. When you become our client, you will have peace of mind knowing that we have your back. 

Talk To An Experienced St. Clair Shores Child Custody Attorney Today!

When it comes to child custody disputes, having first-rate legal representation can make all the difference. Trust The Nunley Law Group to help you navigate the legal process and work towards a favorable outcome for you and your child. Contact us today to get started.