Elkouri Heath, PLC

248-344-9700

39555 Orchard Hill Place, Suite 215, Novi, MI 48375

MI family lawyerDivorcing with children brings about many different types of issues that couples divorcing without children do not have to deal with. One of the things that must be determined when you are getting divorced is how you will parent your child where your child will be spending their time. Typically, Michigan courts prefer the parents to try to make their own determinations about child custody and parenting time before they turn to the court to make these decisions for them. There is a better chance that orders will be followed when parents are involved in making these decisions. When a court is called in to help determine parenting time, many different factors must be considered before a final order is issued.

Michigan Courts and Making Decisions About Parenting Time

Like many states in the U.S., Michigan makes determinations about parenting time based on the best interests of the child. It is assumed that it is in the best interest of every child to have a secure relationship with both parents. Michigan courts also believe that every child has a right to spend time with each parent unless the court finds that it would severely harm the child’s mental, physical or emotional health. The court will examine a variety of factors when making decisions about parenting time, including:

  • Whether or not the child has any special needs;
  • Whether the child is a nursing child and receives substantial nutrition through nursing;
  • Whether or not there is any likelihood of any abuse or neglect of the child or parent during parenting time;
  • The distance between where each parent lives and the burden the travel would have on the child;
  • The likeliness of each parent to follow the parenting time order; and
  • Any other factor that the court deems to be relevant.

Get in Touch with an Oakland County Child Custody Lawyer

Each child has an inherent right to have a loving and meaningful relationship with both of their parents and both parents have the right to spend time with their child. It can be difficult and sometimes stressful to come to an agreement about parenting time with your ex, but it is important that you are able to create a parenting time agreement that allows both you and your ex to spend time with your child. If you are going through a divorce, you should contact a Novi, MI child custody attorney. Elkouri Heath, PLC can help you create an agreement that benefits not only your child, but also you and your child’s other parent. Call the office today at 248-344-9700 to schedule a consultation.

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MI family lawyerMany people say that the hardest thing about their divorce was seeing how it affected their children. Children often have different reactions to divorce, ranging from anger and fury to depression and guilt. Though the range of emotions felt by children of divorce is vast, there is one thing that most can agree on - divorce is hard on children. Because of this issue, an increase in unusual custody arrangements has been observed across the county - nesting arrangements. These kinds of arrangements can be beneficial to both parents and children as they transition from their normal life to one in which parents are divorced.

What Is a Nesting Arrangement?

As the name of the arrangement implies, a nesting arrangement is one in which the family home is the “nest” where the children live and the parents take turns staying at the home to spend time with the children. Traditional split custody arrangements consist of the parents each having their separate homes and the children moving between those homes after a set length of time. In a nesting arrangement, some parents will have their own designated living quarters in the family home, but more often, parents will live outside of the family home when they are not in charge of the children.

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MI family lawyerSometimes, when parents remarry, they want their new spouse to become the legal parent of their child. Though stepparent adoption can come with many benefits, under Michigan law, a child can only have a maximum of two legal parents at one time. This means if you want your new spouse to legally adopt your child, you must first have your child’s biological parent relinquish their parental rights or have them revoked by the court, which can only happen in certain situations. Stepparent adoption can be a tricky process to navigate, but it does not have to be.

  1. Contact the Courthouse

The first step in the stepparent adoption process is to contact the courthouse in the county in which you reside. The will be able to tell you the specific steps you need to take when proceeding with the adoption process. You will also be able to get the forms you need to fill out to file for adoption.

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MI custody lawyerTraditionally, when a couple got divorced, the child was thought to be better off living with its mother for the majority of the time, rather than with its father. Because of that, sole custody was typically granted to the mother and the father was allowed visitation rights. In today’s age, it’s generally thought that joint custody is the ideal situation for children. The Michigan Child Custody Act states that it is important for a child to have a relationship with both of his or her parents, if possible. Child custody can be a hot topic when it comes to divorce, but custody arrangements are always determined with the child’s best interests in mind.

Deciding Factors for Custody Arrangements

Parents are urged to come to a custody agreement on their own, but in the event that they cannot agree, the court must step in and determine the arrangement that is in the child’s best interest. Michigan courts consider the following factors when determining a child’s best interest in custody cases:

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MI custody lawyerGenerally speaking, Michigan law holds that it is in a child’s best interest to maintain continuous relationships with both parents after a divorce. But what if you suspect that your ex is using illegal drugs or abusing alcohol or prescription medications? For example, your ex might appear drunk or high when the children are picked up or dropped off, or the children might tell you that they have seen drug use or excessive drinking.

When the safety of your children is at risk, and you are unable to work out a satisfactory solution with your ex directly, you may need to take legal action. Your attorney can file a motion with the family court requesting specific actions or changes to your parenting time arrangements to protect the best interests of the children. Here are some of your options.

Request Testing and/or Investigation for Substance Abuse

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