Joint physical custody means that the children spend an equal amount of time with either parent, moving back and forth between the two homes.
If you’re getting divorced in the state of Michigan and wonder what will happen with the kids, you need to know that if the case goes to trial the judge will use the Michigan Custody Act to decide where the kids’ best interests lie. That is, of course, if the parents cannot agree on a parenting plan. You have two options here – let the judge decide or team up with your ex and think what’s best for your kids. Look up experienced Michigan child custody lawyers and they will explain to you why it’s best to draw up a parenting plan instead of relying on the court’s decision.
There are two types of child custody in Michigan – physical custody and legal custody. Each of them can be sole custody or joint custody, so there are many aspects to consider.
Physical custody refers to the children’s residence. If the kids get to spend most of their time with one parent, they will be the primary custodian, while the other will have visitation rights and will get the children for overnight stays on alternate weekends or during the holidays. Joint physical custody means that the children spend an equal amount of time with either parent, moving back and forth between the two homes.
This is the first thing you need to decide. For that, you need to sit down with the best Detroit child custody lawyers and see what type of arrangement would work for your family. As parents you know your family’s situation best and you can determine whether one of you should be primary custodian or it would be preferable for both to spend an equal amount of time with the children.
As for legal custody, that’s about who’s going to make the important decisions regarding the children’s welfare, like the school they should attend or medical treatments they might need. With joint legal custody, both parents get a say in these types of decisions, but this requires being in close contact and talking about stuff. If you’re not comfortable with the idea this might create a lot of problems.
When you enlist the help of seasoned child custody lawyers they can help you work out some of the differences between you so you can draft a workable parenting plan.
This plan will then be presented to the judge and if they find that it’s based on the child’s best interests they will sign it.
Parenting plans can be altered at a later date if there are significant changes in your family’s situation. If one of the parents moves to a new home that might be unsuitable for the children, the other can file a motion to alter the visitation schedule. Also, any health issue, mental or physical, affecting one of the parents warrants some changes to the initial parenting plan. However, the judge needs to sign off on any changes and you’ll want a good lawyer to represent you when you go to court.
If the parents cannot agree on a plan, they will have to go to trial, which implies airing all your dirty laundry in public and bringing out all the skeletons in your closet. Are you sure you want that?