Michigan Child Custody Lawyer

Child custody has been an evolving legal matter over the last century, particularly, in the State of Michigan. For instance, the father used to have absolute property rights to the children. Afterwards, the law shifted, and generally considered the mother as the preferred parent. In the modern day, Michigan’s standard of child custody is “best interest of the child.” In other words, one parent cannot receive biological preference as the sole determining factor of custody. As experienced child custody lawyers in Michigan, Kelly & Kelly P.C. understands legal factors involved in determining “the best interest of the child” and other processes involved in Michigan family/divorce court.

If you have concerns involving child custody or divorce, call our experienced Michigan family law firm today.

How We Can Help

The family law attorneys of Kelly & Kelly P.C have represented clients throughout Michigan for over 30 years. Our law firm has experience in all courts throughout the State and understands the complexities of the legal system. When you hire our firm, you get an entire team of experienced and passionate attorneys working on your case. If you’re looking for a child custody lawyer, Kelly & Kelly P.C is a strong ally for these cases.

Parenting Time

In Michigan, there is a presumption that it is in the best interest of the child to have a strong relationship with both parents.  If one parent has sole physical custody of a child in Michigan it is presumed that the other parent will be granted parenting time, which means spending time with the child.  This might mean certain weekends, holidays, certain extended vacations. Courts and parties can get creative in determining parenting time in Michigan.

Parties are free to come to an agreement on their own about parenting time in Michigan cases, which are subject to the court’s review of the “best interest of the child” or a court may determine the parenting time.

Parenting time is modifiable in Michigan by the parties consent or a party filing a motion, and the court making a determination if proper cause has been shown and if there is a change of circumstances, which warrant the modification.

Temporary Order Of Custody

During a family court proceeding such a divorce in Michigan the court may grant a temporary order of custody. This is not the final judgment, but may become a final judgment if the Michigan family court should order the child to remain in the same custodial environment.

One important facet of the temporary order is that it could lead to a custodial environment being established, which would apply the higher standard for the other parent changing the child’s custody situation in Michigan.

Legal forms titled Child Custody Action Cover Sheet from the State of Michigan Third Judicial Circuit in Wayne County

Michigan Sole Custody vs Joint Custody

In Michigan sole custody means that one parent has primary physical custody as well as legal custody of the child.  Joint custody in Michigan means that parents could share one or both of physical and legal custody.

Legal custody of a child in Michigan is defined as a parent having the responsibility over major decisions regarding the child’s upbringing, medical treatment, school enrollment, religious instruction and other similar matters.

Decisions are to be made with the parent who has physical custody of the child at the time that the decision is made.  This means that the parent without legal custody of a child, may make certain decisions for the child while spending their parenting time.

Can child custody in Michigan be determined through the arbitration process? Am I entitled to access to information about my child in Michigan?

Yes, in Michigan non-custodial parents must not be denied access to records and information concerning their child unless that parent is specifically prohibited from having records by a protective order. These records may include records pertaining to school, medical, dental, day care and notification of meetings regarding the child’s schooling like a parent-teacher conference.

Yes, Michigan law prohibits a parent of a child in a joint custody arrangement in Michigan from moving more than 100 miles away from the child’s legal residence at the time the custody order was issued. There are exceptions in Michigan cases such as the other parent agreeing or if the original residence was initially 100 or more miles away, and this move actually brings the child closer.

In Michigan the court will apply a “reasonable preference” as one of the factors in making a determination. A Michigan judge may question the child outside the courtroom in order to obtain the preference, which removes the child from having to state their preference in front of both parents. A Michigan court must state on the record if a preference was expressed, and if the preference was considered in the decision, but the court does not need to announce the preference, it will just be one factor of the court’s decision. In general, the older and more mature the child, the greater weight the preference in the court coming to a decision.

Yes, during a family court proceeding such a a divorce in Michigan the court may grant a temporary order of custody. This is not the final judgment, but may become a final judgment if the Michigan family court should order the child to remain in the same custodial environment.

One important facet of the temporary order is that it could lead to an custodial environment being established, which would apply the higher standard for the other parent changing the child’s custody situation in Michigan.

Legal Areas Related To Child Custody

Call Our Team: 248-348-0496
After Hours: 248-733-5021
Email Us 

Professional group picture of the high conflict divorce legal team at Kelly & Kelly. There are three women attorneys in professional business attire in the photo.

To speak to an experienced child custody lawyer, please fill out our confidential form below.