Michigan Child Custody in Divorces

What Are Your Rights?

As long as the child was conceived and born in wedlock, husbands are considered to be the father of any minor children. With that presumption come parental rights and obligations, i.e., custody and reasonable parenting time rights and the obligation to pay child support. Neither party has custody rights over any step-children that may be involved; stepchildren are children for whom a party has no actual legal interest in. Step-children should be distinguished from those situations where a husband has signed an acknowledgment of parentage or formally adopted a child. In these situations, the husband is the legal parent of a minor child, therefore, parental rights and obligations apply.

Temporary Custody

The divorce process takes a minimum of six months to complete where minor children between the parties exist. Depending on your situation, it may be beneficial to file a motion for temporary child custody and child support. However, the best custody arrangements—temporary or final—are always those where the parents are able to resolve the matter on their own. Arrangements made in this manner save considerable time, money and anxiety later on. If the parents cannot work out an arrangement that works for them, a hearing will be held on a motion for temporary custody to determine what is in the child’s best interests.

Once a determination has been made, a judge will enter a temporary custody order. It is important to note that temporary custody orders do not impact a final order on child custody. Just because one side obtains temporary custody does not mean that the other side loses his/her custody rights later on.

Get it While you Can

There are lots of reasons that some people would not fight for custody during their divorce. They may attempt to avoid confrontation, they may want a more favorable property settlement or it could be that they just don’t want custody of the kids. But it is important that all parties involved understand that giving up custody now will make obtaining custody later on far more difficult because modifying custody requires proper cause or a change in circumstances before a judge will even consider whether modification is in the child’s best interests.

Hire a Michigan Divorce Lawyer Today

No divorce is easy, and the most important issues involved in any divorce are going to be those regarding minor children. If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or your spouse already has, contact Akiva Goldman & Associates to guide you on these issues at 586-268-2400.