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We Help Ottawa County Parents Fight for Their Children

Children are often caught in the middle when their parents separate or divorce. And while every parent wants to do right by their children, this can still lead to conflicts with the other parent over the best custody and visitation arrangements. If both sides cannot reach an agreement, they may need to turn to the courts for a resolution.

Kraayeveld Family Law is a full-service Michigan family law firm that helps parents in Hudsonville and throughout Ottawa County address custody and visitation issues. We both assist parents in negotiating parenting plans to submit to a court as well as handle contested trials when that becomes necessary. Our goal is to help you–and your children–through this difficult period with professionalism and compassion.

How Michigan Courts Decide Child Custody Disputes

Having started as a small fruit orchard in the mid-19th century, Hendersonville gained recognition as a village in 1873 and since then has steadily grown into Ottawa County’s third-largest city. Today, the city’s population of around 7,200 includes many families with children. As part of Ottawa County, Hudsonville is part of Michigan’s 20th judicial circuit, which oversees child custody disputes among other matters.

Michigan law strongly encourages parents to work together in negotiating a parenting plan that establishes custody and visitation rights. This is often accomplished through direct negotiation between the parents and their attorneys. In some cases, a third-party mediator is asked to facilitate the discussion. But when the parents are simply unable to agree, it is up to a circuit court judge to decide what is in the child’s best interests.

There is no single test used to determine “best interests.” Instead, the court will look at a list of factors specified by Michigan law. Some of these factors include the “moral fitness” of the parents, how long the child has lived in their present environment, whether there have been any acts of domestic violence in the household, and even the child’s own preference if they are old enough to express one. The judge may also appoint a “friend of the court” to conduct an independent evaluation of the situation and report back to the court.

It is also important to note that child custody can take several different forms. A court may award sole physical custody of the child to one parent–meaning that is who the child will live with most of the time–while granting both parents joint legal custody. In this context, legal custody refers to the authority to make important decisions affecting the child, such as where they will attend school or receive religious instruction.

Contact Our Hudsonville, Michigan, Child Custody Lawyers Today

Child custody is often the most contentious issue in a parental divorce. That is why it is essential that each parent seeks out competent legal advice from an experienced Hudsonville child custody lawyer. Call Kraayeveld Family Law today at 616-285-0808 or start a conversation with us online to schedule a no-obligation consultation.