Biological parents in Michigan have the right to seek child custody regardless of their marital status. However, a judge will have to determine if allowing unmarried fathers custody or other contact with his children is in their best interest. Assuming that the father poses no danger to his son or daughter, courts generally prefer that both parents are in the lives of their children.
When it comes to parenting after divorce, joint parenting may offer the best chance at avoiding the mental and emotional problems that often plague children of separated parents. While this requires a certain degree of civility and patience to have conflict-free interactions, it can also provide a secure environment where children know they are loved by both parents.
It is common for Michigan parents to enter into a new relationship after they have gotten divorced. In some cases, these new partners may live far away, and the parents may want to move closer to them. When there are children involved, it is important for the parents to think about how moving will affect the children as well as the ex-spouse's parenting time.
Nicole Curtis, star of the HGTV show "Rehab Addict" has been in a protracted custody battle with her ex-boyfriend and the father of her 1-year-old child Harper. Michigan residents might recall that Shane Maguire filed a paternity suit when a DNA test proved that he was the child's father. Curtis' reply was to ask for child support as well as payment for child care and the cost of the child's birth. The court gave Maguire rights to weekend visitations but also ruled that he had to pay child support and half the cost of the birth after insurance.
When Michigan parents are going through a divorce, child custody and visitation can sometimes be a contentious issue. If they are unable to agree on it themselves, the judge will make the decision. Unless there are extreme circumstances such as substance abuse, for example, the noncustodial parent will likely be awarded some form of visitation.
When actress Angelina Jolie filed for divorce from actor Brad Pitt, she requested full custody of the couple's six children. The reasons for this are unknown, but the couple's high-profile custody battle has reignited a debate in Michigan and around the country over what custody arrangements are best for kids when their parents divorce.
For unmarried couples in Michigan, determining the paternity of a child is a necessary task and can be useful if the couple separates. Unlike married couples, there is no assumption as to who is the father of a child. A paternity test is needed for situations such as a father filing for child custody.
Previously, we began looking at recent changes in Michigan law impacting custody cases in which domestic violence is an issue that needs to be addressed. One of the changes, we noted, was that courts will no longer be able to take into consideration for purposes of determining custody and visitation the actions a party takes to protect his or her children from domestic violence.
Previously, we began looking at some of the factors family courts take into consideration when making child custody determinations. As we noted, the central factor in any case is the best interests of the child, though judges look a variety of factors when considering what arrangement will really be best for a child.
Child custody is one of the most important issues-if not the most important issue-parents have to address in the divorce process. For parents going into child custody proceedings, there can be a lot of apprehension about how the decision is made and how to protect their rights as a parent. Working with an experienced attorney is critical to ensure one has solid guidance.