Understanding Parenting Time In Michigan

The No.1 complaint we hear from clients who come to us from other attorneys is: My attorney didn't listen to me. We understand this, and we take note.

At Kraayeveld Law Offices, P.C., our attorneys focus on listening to your problems and circumstances to determine what is best for you, your child and your relationship. We understand that your children are an important aspect of your life. If we take your case, we have the skill and resources to win.

Our lawyers have assisted clients in the Grand Rapids area with child custody, parenting time and child support issues since 1993. For personalized advocacy, schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable child custody attorney at Kraayeveld Law Offices, P.C., by calling 616-426-9644.

How Do We Win Your Child Custody Dispute?

We win because we thoroughly prepare your case and present the evidence you have to provide. We win because we are tenacious advocates. We win because of the quality of our staff and the efforts we all put into every case. If your case won't settle and we need to take it to trial, then we can effectively relay your concerns and your position and zealously advocate for your interests.

Our lawyers have extensive knowledge of child custody laws. We effectively inform our clients, evaluate their goals and vigorously pursue realistic results. In Michigan, child custody is divided into two categories:

  • Legal custody: referring to a parent's ability to make major decisions such as those involving health care, schooling and religious upbringing
  • Physical custody: referring to where the child will physically live

Who Will Have Child Custody?

Both legal and physical custody can be awarded as either joint custody or sole custody depending on the best interests of the children. When determining child custody matters, a judge may evaluate many factors to determine what is in the best interests of the children involved. Although there are certain factors that a judge considers, a judge may allocate higher significance to certain factors. Judges may consider the following 12 factors to determine child custody:

  • The love, affection and other emotional ties existing between the parties involved and the child.
  • The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to give the child love, affection and guidance and to continue the education and raising of the child in his or her religion or creed, if any.
  • The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care or other remedial care recognized and permitted under the laws of this state in place of medical care, and other material needs.
  • The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment, and the desirability of maintaining continuity.
  • The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home or homes.
  • The moral fitness of the parties involved.
  • The mental and physical health of the parties involved.
  • The home, school and community record of the child.
  • The reasonable preference of the child, if the court considers the child to be of sufficient age to express preference.
  • The willingness and ability of each of the parties to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent or the child and the parents.
  • Domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against or witnessed by the child.
  • Any other factor considered by the court to be relevant to a particular child custody dispute.

What Is Parenting Time?

Usually the noncustodial parent will receive parenting time or visitation. Many parents believe that there is a set schedule that they will automatically receive. This is incorrect. The judgment or temporary order may provide parenting time so that the parents can decide the times and dates or it can provide a set schedule. We can provide great assistance in this area, by fighting for times that fit your schedule. Likewise, many parents do not realize that Michigan law provides that parenting time must be granted in such a manner that it will provide a bond between parent and child. We can advocate for you to have vacation parenting time, additional times, weekday overnights and a myriad of options outside of the standard weekend parenting time that so many parents are willing to accept without any advocacy.

If parenting time has been wrongfully denied, the law allows this time to be made up and permits a contempt of court action to be brought against the offending parent that can lead to a fine or jail term. Failure to pay child support is not an acceptable reason to deny parenting time.

If your child grows older, your child's needs change as well. Usually parenting time should be amended accordingly. Our office can assist.

A Personal Advocate On Your Side

Through intense preparation and involvement with our clients, we have a thorough understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of their cases. We provide zealous representation to ensure our clients' objectives are protected. For a tough child custody lawyer on your side, contact our Michigan family law firm.