At Thacker Sleight, we are family law lawyers, negotiators, litigators, and problem solvers. We have a reputation of being fearless, meticulous, and thorough in our approach of life’s unexpected challenges. We never stop, it’s how we work, and why we get results.
Grand Rapids Child Custody Attorney
Protecting Children & Enforcing Parental Rights
Child custody disputes can be some of the most contentious issues that come up during a divorce. While both parents often want what is best for their children, they may disagree on the details. Thacker Sleight understands how important it is to protect the best interests of your children and will work hard to make sure that happens.
What Is Child Custody?
Child custody is a decision made by the court as to who the child will live with, how much time they will spend with the other parent, and how much time the parent not living with the child will have with the child.
There are 2 types of child custody:
- Legal custody refers to the responsibility for major decisions in a child's life, such as education and religion
- Physical custody refers to where the child will live
Michigan courts recognize that children need a strong relationship with both parents. As such, they generally encourage joint physical and legal custody. It is important to note, however, that the court has the final say in deciding custody matters. As you work with your attorney to negotiate a custody arrangement, keep in mind the court's preference to have both parents share decision-making responsibilities.
Establishing Custody in Michigan
When determining custody, the court will consider the best interests of the child. The court will look at several factors, such as:
- each parent's moral character
- each parent's ability to provide for the child's physical and emotional needs
- each parent's ability to foster a healthy relationship between the child and the other parent
- each parent's willingness to encourage a close relationship between the child and the other parent
- each parent's physical and geographical proximity to the other parent
- the child's age and physical, mental, and emotional health
Often, the court will try to base custody arrangements on a 50/50 arrangement whenever possible. Custody arrangements can also be flexible, especially in cases where both parents work full-time and the child is in daycare. In these situations, the court may allow the child to spend more time with the parent whose shift ends later.
Keeping Children Safe
Thacker Sleight understands the impact divorce can have on children. As your attorney, we will work hard to ensure that your children's interests and needs are a top priority. We can help you negotiate custody details with your spouse, and if necessary, we can aggressively represent you in court to ensure that your children are in a safe environment.
Contact Thacker Sleight Today
Child custody matters can be some of the most difficult issues to resolve during a divorce. We can help you work towards a resolution that is in the best interest of your children. Schedule a consultation with a family lawyer at Thacker Sleight today.
Contact us online or call (616) 300-2367 to get started with an experienced child custody attorney in Grand Rapids, MI.