Divorce is emotional and trying for a number of reasons; making a determination about who will get custody of a shared child is one of those reasons. If you and your partner are separating or divorcing in Ionia, with whom your child will live is a decision that you will need to make. While you and your partner have the right to make that decision on your own together, if you cannot come to an agreement, it is important that you be prepared to go before a judge who will make the determination on your behalf. For legal representation throughout the child custody process, contact our experienced Ionia family law team at the Van Den Heuvel Law Office.
How Courts Decide Who Gets Custody of a Child
As stated above, a child’s parents can form a plan on their own without court intervention that addresses who will have primary custody of the child – i.e. with whom the child will live – and how parenting time (visitation) for the other parent will be allocated. If parents cannot make the decision, though, then a family law judge will make the determination. If a family law judge makes the determination, they must consider a number of factors that are put forth in the Child Custody Act. Amongst other things, a judge will consider the relationship that the child has with each parent; each parent’s ability to provide for the child psychologically, mentally, and physically; the child’s current living and school situation and the need for continuity; and in some cases, the child’s preference. Typically, the child’s preferences are not considered unless the court finds the child to be of a mature age.
Modifying a Child Custody Order in Ionia
Once a judge has issued a determination about child custody in Ionia, a parent who is in disagreement with the order does have the right to file a motion for reconsideration.
In addition to filing a motion for reconsideration, a parent may also file a motion for modification at a later date. This can make sense in the event that circumstances change significantly and the current custodial agreement is no longer fair or sensible. For example, if one parent moves, a modification to a child custody agreement may need to be made to ensure that this parent still gets visitation time with their child.
Contact Our Ionia Child Custody Attorneys Today
All family law matters can be sensitive, but there are few more emotional than those involving children. At the Van Den Heuvel Law Office, we appreciate the sensitivity of your situation and understand what you are going through. With more than 27 years of experience representing families during child custody cases in Ionia and surrounding areas, we know how to build a strong case advocating for you. If you need legal guidance during separation or divorce regarding child custody, get in touch with our talented Ionia child custody attorneys today online or by phone.