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Plymouth Family Law Blog

What are the 2 kinds of joint custody in Michigan?

Child custody is a major issue for Michigan parents who are ending their relationship. While it can be contentious, there are times when it can also be amicable. It is easy to say that many cases will end up somewhere in between, but they are all different, and parents -- regardless of their situation -- should be aware of how joint custody is handled and what the two kinds of joint custody are.

With joint custody, there is legal and physical custody. When the parents get joint legal custody, both will be able to take part in the key decisions of the child's life. Any important decision, whether it is related to medical care, the child's education or what religion he or she will follow, will be determined by both parents. The living arrangements are not impacted by joint legal custody. The child may still live with one parent, and the other parent will be grant parenting time.

Paternity issues in Michigan require experienced legal help

It can be difficult to navigate paternity issues in Michigan. These can come from various perspectives and all are complex. For example, in some cases, there is a lack of certainty as to who the biological father of a child is and child support, visitation rights and more hang in the balance of the testing. In other cases, the man who the mother says is the biological father denies paternity. The man who believes he is the father might want to see the child, but the mother is denying that request. With these or any other situations related to paternity, it is imperative to have legal assistance.

There are many reasons why it is important to establish paternity. For the father to have a relationship with the child, it must first be proven that he is the biological father. If the mother wants to receive child support from the man denying paternity, it must be proven that the man is the child's biological father, so the next steps can be taken.

With child custody, when must a judge grant approval to relocate?

With Michigan child custody cases one problem that can come up is if the custodial parent wants to relocate with the child. The custodial parent can move to another location with the child should he or she choose to do so, but there are two exceptions to that rule. Understanding how to handle these complex situations is integral to resolving them.

The first exception is if the court order that granted child custody is required to state that the custodial parent cannot change the child's residence to somewhere out of state unless the judge grants approval for it. The second exception is if the court order that gives custody or parenting time stipulates that there cannot be a move of more than 100 miles away from the previous residence unless the judge grants approval.

Talking to your kids about divorce and related topics

As a parent, you dread the moments you have to demonstrate to your child that the world is not a perfect place. Your kid needs to learn at some point that not all moms and dads will be with each other until death do them do them part.

Ideally, it is better for children to learn about the concept of divorce before witnessing what it’s like with their parents firsthand. However, you never know how long your relationship is going to last. If you have to break the bad news to your kids and they have little to no prior knowledge of divorce, there are a couple of areas to keep in mind to minimize your child’s pain of processing the break-up and to use it as an educational opportunity.

Survey shows women are concerned about finances in a divorce

A reason that many people in Michigan are reluctant to end an unhappy marriage and move forward with their lives is due to uncertainty about what comes after the divorce is completed. Much of the consternation is financial in nature. A recent study conducted by the online marketplace Worthy surveyed nearly 1,800 women about financial issues in a divorce. Their responses can be used as a guideline for those who have similar concerns.

Those who took part in the survey ranged between women who were about to get a divorce, those who were getting a divorce, and those who were already divorced. Financial roles were a focus of the survey. Some respondents were wholly uninvolved in any financial aspects of the marriage and left it all to the husband. Of the women ages 55 and older, 18 percent surrendered financial control in this way while for those ages 18 to 55, it was 23 percent. This can be troublesome after the divorce, since the parties will be responsible for handling finances on their own. When women were cognizant of their finances while married, they are likely to have a better grasp of what must be done to maintain a reasonable standard of living after their divorce. A primary fear that was shared by women across the spectrum was living on a single income. The

What should I know about seasonal parenting plans in Michigan?

When a Michigan couple parts ways and has children, one of the most common issues for dispute is how the parental rights and parenting time will be allocated. The state has certain criteria that it uses to determine how this is handled. Parents often have different ideas as to what they prefer. A common period in which there are disagreements is when the children are off from school. The Michigan Parenting Time Guideline can be useful to help the parents come to a consensus in the best interests of the child and do so while trying to avoid acrimony.

The parenting time schedule for spring, summer and winter at times when the child is not in school has certain ways in which it will be allotted. For spring break, the parents will alternate when the child is with each. For example, the father will have the child in years that end in an even number; the mother will have the child in odd-numbered years. The child's residence will determine when spring break will begin and the child will be transferred to the applicable parent's custody. It will begin at 6:00 p.m. the last day of school prior to the break and go until 6:00 p.m. the day before school will resume.

What are the two different types of joint custody in Michigan?

When parents in Michigan have parted ways as a couple and are debating child custody, it is important to understand the different types of custody that the courts can decide upon and how the best interests of the child will factor in. When it is determined that joint custody is best, parents should know that there are two different types of joint custody. As the case moves forward, these issues should be weighed. This is true whether the parents can amicably discuss the case and negotiate, if the case is contentious and rife with dispute and anywhere in between.

Either parent can ask the court to consider ordering joint custody. When the couple agrees to this, the court must order that there be joint custody except in cases in which it does not serve the child's best interests. When the judge decides, the reasons must be stated on the record. There does not need to be a request from the parents for the judge to consider joint custody. The parents' ability to cooperate and come to a consensus on the child's best interests are paramount in this decision.

How to handle co-owned family business after divorce

Divorcing your spouse does not mean it is the end of the road for your family business.

After nearly a decade together, you decide to split. Inevitably, you two are at different places right now than you were 10 years ago. However, there is one thing you do not want to give up on – your family owned business. It is understandable as you invested your blood, sweat and tears into it. We have some tips on how you could manage to run your co-owned business after divorcing. As long as you have resided in the state of Michigan for 180 days, you should be able to file for divorce assuming there are no other complications.

Help with modifications after a divorce

Things do not stay the same following a divorce and the family law system recognizes that. As a result, the family law system provides resources to help divorced couples pursue modifications of their divorce agreement when and if needed. Rather than resorting to conflict, it is helpful for divorced couples to be familiar with these resources, what they can do for them and how to access them.

Modifications can relate to many divorce-related issues including spousal support, child custody or child support following a divorce. The process of seeking a modification provides flexibility as a divorced couple's lives and circumstances change. It is important to seek any requested modification from the family law court and always keep in mind to continue to follow the divorce agreement associated with the divorce decree until any requested modification has been approved by the court.

How are child custody determinations made in Michigan?

Child custody is a primary concern for parents during divorce and they may wonder how child custody is determined. Whether divorcing couples are negotiating child custody or the family law court is making child custody decisions, the best interests of the child is always the focus of child custody determinations.

What is in the best interests of the child is the guiding principle for child custody decisions and focuses on the child's happiness, safety, security, mental health and emotional development. The court considers a variety of factors to determine what is in the best interests of the child. Factors that may be evaluated can include the mental and physical health of the parents; any special needs of the child and the ability of the parents to meet those needs; religious and cultural considerations; adjustment to school and community; the age and sex of the child; and the wishes of the child depending on age.

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