The Family Law Leader

» Child Custody

Q: After 20 years of marriage, I found out that my husband has been cheating on me for over a year and we are in the process of a divorce. He says that he wants joint custody of our three children. I don’t understand how a judge could ever award custody to a person who is clearly at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. Can you explain this?

A:  I’m sorry you have found yourself in this position. Unfortunately, in the majority of divorce cases, one or both spouses have gone outside of the marriage for intimacy.…

Q: I recently filed a motion to change parenting time. I noticed that it has been referred to a family court referee. What does that mean?

A:  In many counties in Michigan, Family Court judges are referring motions regarding parenting time, support, and other post-judgment matters to referees. There is a statute…

Q: I am involved in a custody case. My children's therapist says that he will testify regarding the best interest of my children. However, I cannot afford to have him appear live at the courthouse. Can I simply submit a letter from him to the judge regarding his opinions in my case?

A: I have had lots of clients ask this question. The short answer is, probably not. The only time this would work is if the other party’s attorney agrees to stipulate to…

Q: What is the difference between sole legal custody and joint legal custody?

A: Every custody order contains language determining the legal and physical custody arrangements for a child.  With joint legal custody, the parents are charged with the resp…

Q: My daughter is 14 years old and I have been divorced from her father for several years. When she was young, she enjoyed spending time with her father but now, for a number of reasons, she no longer wants to visit with him on weekends as she has previously done. People have told me that, now that she is a teenager, the court will let her decide where she goes. Is this true?

A:  While the child’s reasonable preference is one of many factors the court takes into consideration when determining custody and parenting time, it is the court and t…

Q: I am in the middle of trying to negotiate a divorce settlement. I have been told that we must follow the Michigan support formula, but my wife and I agree that, under the circumstances, it is not necessary for me to pay as much support as the formula provides. We both make a very good living, and I have expended substantial funds for the children's travel athletics and other extracurricular activities. Can we deviate from the child support formula?

A:  Unless either of you is receiving public assistance such as food stamps or Medicaid, it is permissible to deviate from the child support formula for a number of reasons.…

Q: I have read that custody determinations are made based upon the best interests of the child. Shouldn't that always be a 50-50 parenting time arrangement? It just doesn't seem fair any other way.

A:  You’re right; custody cases are decided based upon the best interest of the child factors contained in the Child Custody Act. However, there is nothing in that law…

Q: I feel like it is not necessary to have the Friend of the Court handle my support case. Can I opt out of this service?

A: Yes. If you and the other party during your divorce or custody dispute, or after the judgment is entered, feel that Friend of the Court services are not necessary, you may…

Q: I just filed for divorce a few days ago and I got a notice from the Friend of the Court saying I need to come in for a coordination conference. What's that all about?

A: Many counties in Michigan are now using the Friend of the Court Coordination Conference as a mechanism to arrive at a temporary custody, parenting time, and support arrange…

Q: I was never married to the father of my baby, but his name is on the birth certificate. Does he have any rights?

A: The mother of the child is presumed to have custody of a child born out of wedlock until a court of competent jurisdiction says otherwise. The father does not have the righ…

Fill Out this Form for a Consultation

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.