Are You Trying to Get Custody of Your Children in Michigan? (Part 1)

No parent want to be without their child – but challenging a custody agreement is hard!


There isn’t a day that goes by, where we don’t get a call from a parent who’s desperately trying to get custody of their children. When you consider it from their perspective, it’s the most normal thing in the world – parents love their kids, and don’t want to be without them! (We’re parents, so we completely understand!) And if you’re one of those parents, then this article is for you!


Being shut out of your child’s daily life is agonizing. Missing out on the important milestones, and the little day-to-day joys of their growth and maturity, is unbelievably difficult. Which is probably why you’re here, reading this article. You want your kid back and who could blame you? So if this sounds like your situation, stick around, we’re going to look at your options.


Changing your current custody agreement can be challenging!


We understand disliking a custody arrangement, and wanting it to change. But it’s going to take more than wishing and wanting to make that happen. There’s quite a lot involved in the process, so let’s take a look at what that might mean. If your ex is a violent child abuser, or has multiple provable substance abuse issues, this should be easy. But those cases are not as common. And if this isn’t your situation, then you probably have your work cut out for you!.


In Michigan, the family courts make all decisions that affect children, with the ‘child’s best interest’ as their pivotal deciding factor. This means, if it looks like it would be better for your child to come and live with you, and your attorney can prove this to the court, then there’s a good chance that your kid will be moving into your home at some point in the not too distant future. But that isn’t always the case.


The court will always do what they believe is best for your child.


If living with their other parent isn’t actually bad for your child, then chances are the court won’t give your child exclusively to you, forcing your ex out of the picture. It’s the current belief of Michigan family courts that a relationship with both parents, where possible, is the best option for a child. So regardless of your personal feelings on the matter, that’s the most likely scenario. However, for a parent who only has visitation rights, even joint custody can sound like a dream come true.


Obviously, if you and your ex are able to come to some kind of reasonable agreement about how custody rights should be divided, the court will likely honor that. In fact, the court is more likely to support a custody arrangement that the parents made together, as long as you’re both happy with it, and it appears to be good for your child. But what if your ex doesn’t want to work with you? Then what…?


Parents who aren’t able to agree on custody issues need attorneys to help them.


If you and your ex aren’t able to work together, the court will step in and decide on your behalf how the custody arrangement should be set up. They do this using the Michigan Child Custody Act‘s twelve ‘best interests of the child’ factors. However, their decision is also heavily influenced by the individual parents involved. So having an attorney to represent your interests to the court, and ensure that your ex doesn’t steamroll you, is very important!


Join us next time as we look at what the 12 ‘best interests of the child’ factors are, and what issues could complicate a custody case for a parent.  However, if you need help with a custody arrangement or dispute, contact us at 517 886 1000. Our experienced family law attorneys are here to help you, day or night. We understand that family issues don’t only happen during business hours, which is why we’re available round the clock!