If you are a parent, then there are few things more important you than the wellbeing of your child, which is one of the primary reasons that a child custody matter can be so heart wrenching. For legal guidance and support during a child custody determination in Hastings, Michigan, contact the attorneys at the Van Den Heuvel Law Office today.
Issues in a Child Custody Determination
A child custody determination must be made in the best interests of the child. However, what is within a child’s “best interests” is often up for debate, especially amongst the child’s parents – both parents may feel as though they are the best choice for custody of the child for myriad reasons.
When parents cannot come to a determination about child custody in Hastings, a judge will issue a child custody decision on parents’ behalf. In order to determine the best interests of the child, the judge will consider:
- Preferences of the child. If the child is a mature age and mind, the judge may ask the child with whom they prefer to live.
- Each parent’s relationship with the child. A judge will also consider the existing relationship that a child maintains with each parent, including factors such as love and affection.
- Each parent’s ability to provide for the child. Each parent’s ability to provide for a child is a top consideration in determining a child’s best interests. A parent must be able to provide for a child physically and psychologically, giving the child food, clothing, shelter, affection, guidance, medical care, and more.
- Current living and community arrangement. Parents’ divorce or separation can be emotionally uprooting for a child. In many cases, a judge may decide that is it within a child’s best interests to continue living in the same home, attending the same school, and maintaining relationships in the same neighborhood rather than moving, and may grant a parent custody based, in part, on this.
The above list is not complete; you can read the full list of factors that a judge may consider in a child custody determination in the Child Custody Act.
How to Improve Your Chances of Being Awarded Custody of Your Child
Being awarded custody of your child is likely a very important issue to you. If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement, you will need to demonstrate to the court why you should be the primary custodial parent for your child. This will require building a strong case – you will need to testify before the court and demonstrate your competence as a parent. Calling strong witnesses – like your child’s teachers – to testify on your behalf may also prove helpful. To help you build a case highlight your superb ability to care for your child, working with a Hastings family law attorney is within your best interests.
Contact Our Law Office Today
At the Van Den Heuvel Law Offices, our talented Hastings child custody attorneys can help you to understand the child custody determination process and how to demonstrate to a court you deserve custody of your child. For more information, contact our law offices today by phone or by using our online form.