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Michigan Child Custody



In Michigan, child custody is established in one of three ways: As part of your divorce case, a family support case or a paternity case. A child custody attorney can help you understand which route is right for you, and can guide you through the process.

The Basics of Child Custody

According to the Michigan child custody guidelines:

"In custody matters judges are asked to decide who will make decisions for a child and when a child is going to be with each parent. If parents in custody cases have not reached an agreement, the judge is asked to determine when a child is going to be with each parent. However, parents in custody cases who decide to work together can decide the custody agreement with the help of their attorneys, the help of the friend of the court office, and/or the process of mediation."

Michigan law recognizes two types of child custody: Physical and legal. Physical custody relates to where a child primarily resides. Legal custody establishes which parent has authority to make major life decisions on the child's behalf. Both types of custody may be either joint (meaning parents share custody) or sole. When one parent has sole physical custody, the other parent typically has parenting time, also known as visitation.

Both parents are bound by the Michigan court's child custody order once it has been signed by the judge and filed with the court clerk. Modifying the child custody order requires one or both parents to show there has been a major change in circumstances and it is to the child's detriment if custody is not changed.

The Basics of Child Support

Child support in Michigan is calculated based on each parent's income, how many children each parent supports, and how much time the children spend with each parent. The court is allowed to deviate from the child support guidelines if the calculation is inappropriate in a particular case.

Find & Hire Local Michigan Child Custody Attorneys

Child custody arrangements, visitation schedules and child support orders can have a long-lasting influence on both parents and children. These are serious legal issues and require the advice and guidance of an experienced child custody lawyer.

For help locating child custody lawyers in your area, call Attorneys.com at 877-913-7222 or fill out the form on this page. Our free legal referral service can quickly connect you with lawyers in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Warren or elsewhere in Michigan.