When you and your spouse divorce or separate, one of the toughest issues you will have to resolve is that of child custody. The following provides a brief overview of child custody laws in Caledonia:
Requesting Custody of a Child in Caledonia
When parents of a child in Caledonia are seeking a divorce, either parent has the right to file a petition for child custody. The complaint for child custody must be filed in the circuit court in the county in which the parents live. After a complaint has been filed, a Michigan court will determine which custody proposal is within a child’s best interest.
Factors Considered by a Court
In order to determine a child’s best interests, the court will consider a number of factors. These include:
- The relationship between the child and their parents. Courts want to award child custody to parents who have a loving and affection relationship with their child.
- The ability of each parent to provide for the child. It is not enough just to love your child; you must be able to provide your child with emotional support and guidance, food, shelter, clothing, education, healthcare, and other psychological and physical necessities.
- The willingness of each parent to continue fostering a relationship between the child and the other parent. In the majority of cases, it is within a child’s best interests to maintain a relationship with both parents. A court wants to see that each parent is able and willing to maintain and foster such a relationship.
- All other relevant factors. In addition to the above, the court will consider any other factors that it finds relevant, such as a history of abuse or domestic violence, the child’s preferences depending upon the child’s age and maturity, and more.
Making Determinations During Mediation
For many parents, making a determination about child custody outside of the courtroom is very possible. This can happen through mediation, which provides an opportunity for parents to communicate and come to an agreement about division of parenting time. It is only when an agreement cannot be reached that a court will be responsible for making a determination. Keep in mind that it is almost always less expensive, time consuming, and emotional to resolve issues in a child custody dispute outside of court.
Working with a Caledonia, Michigan Child Custody Attorney
Being involved in a child custody complaint can be extremely unpleasant, and the outcome – if not in your favor – can be devastating. At the Van Den Heuvel Law Office, our competent Caledonia child custody lawyers understand how much is on the line and what you’re going through, and promise to knowledgeably guide and advocate for you.
To learn more about our services and how we can help, please contact us today. We will work hard on your behalf.