Child Custody Ypsilanti MI

Child Custody Attorney Ypsilanti MI – Child Custody Lawyer Ypsilanti MI

There are two types of custody – physical and legal. Either could be joint or sole custody. Physical custody refers to where the minor children physically live. If a minor child resides at both parents’ homes more than 128 days, the parties have joint physical custody. Legal custody has nothing to do with where a child lives. It only has to do with the ability of the parents to make decisions about a child’s life, such as health care, education and religious upbringing. Consequently, in the vast majority of divorce cases, joint legal custody is given to both parties, whereas primary physical custody (whether joint or sole) is given to one party. Custody can be changed after a divorce, support case, custody case, or paternity case. However, a court will look to the best interests of a child to see if a custody change is warranted and it must be based on some change in circumstances between the parties.

Dealing with a child custody dispute can be quite emotional, as you try to understand and decide what is best for your children.  These decisions can include custody changes, support changes, and even requests to change a child’s home.  If you would like to work with your child’s parent to make these decisions, perhaps you could think about Parenting Coordination.  If this is not possible, or if you prefer to handle the matter in the courts, it is important to have an attorney who understands the law and can talk to you about your goals for the children, the state of the law, and what the judge may do in your case.  In Michigan, if a custody case goes to hearing, the courts use the following factors in order to determine what decision is in the best interests of the children:

(a)     the love, affection and other emotional ties existing between the parties involved and the child;

(b)     the capacity and disposition of the parties involved to give the child love, affection, and guidance, and continuation of the educating and raising of the child in its religion or creed, if any;

(c)     the capacity and disposition of the parties involved to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care or other remedial care, recognized and permitted under the laws of this state in place of medical care, and other   material needs;

(d)     the length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment, and the desirability of maintaining continuity;

(e)     the permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home or homes;

(f)     the moral fitness of the parties involved;

(g)     the mental and physical health of the parties involved;

(h)     the home, school and community record of the child;

(i)     the reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient age to express preference;

(j)     the willingness and ability of each of the parents to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent;

(k)     Domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against or witnessed by the child;

(l)    any other factors considered by the court to be relevant to a particular child custody dispute.

This was formerly known as visitation. Parenting time can be specifically spelled out in a Divorce Judgment or left to the parties to work out between themselves. Unfortunately, if specific times are not spelled out in a court order and there becomes a problem, police cannot enforce it. Parenting time can be changed after a divorce, support case, custody case, or paternity case. However, a change can only occur if there is some change in circumstances between the parties. If a proposed change would cause a parent to have more than 128 days where that parent had less or have less than 128 days where that parent had more, the court will view the change as a potential change in custody and the best interest standards will be reviewed. A party cannot withhold parenting time if a parent is not paying support. The proper recourse is to contact an attorney and/or the FOC for enforcement.

Moving out of state or more than 100 miles with a minor child

Barring an agreement from the other parent, court permission is required to move more than 100 miles from the other parent or out of the state with minor children. To move outside this boundary, a parent must show four things: the move is not being made to prevent the other parent from exercising parenting time, the move has the capacity to improve the life of the moving parent and child, that the objection of the non-custodial parent is based on trying to secure a financial advantage, and the opportunity for the non-moving parent to obtain parenting time and the extent to which the custodial parent will accommodate parenting time. If parents have joint custody and the move would cause less than 128 overnights for one parent, then the court will also deem the move a change in custody and will use the best interest factors to determine if a change in custody should occur.

Parenting Time Attorney Ypsilanti MI


Primarily serving the cities of Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, and the counties of Wayne and Washtenaw, although we extend our legal services throughout the State of Michigan.

If you are looking for a lawyer well-versed in family law matters including parenting time in Ypsilanti, call Collis & Griffor, PC today at 734.827.1337 or contact us to set up an appointment for a free consultation.