Child Custody and Visitation Issues
If you know your child will be better off in your custody, you need to assert your rights as their father. At Arnson VanTol Law, PLC, a law firm for men in Grand Rapids, Michigan, we never assume that the mother is the best child custody candidate. We clearly present the reasons why you should be granted custody of your children to the family court.
Sound and Informed Decision-Making
The middle of a divorce can be a difficult time to make custody and visitation decisions. Nevertheless, the choices you make about custody today will affect you and your family for years to come.
Our lawyers help you sort through all the issues that affect child custody, explain your options, and help you decide upon the best course of action. Contact us to learn more.
Best Interests of the Child
When determining child custody, the court must consider the best interests of the child. The court does so by applying the "best interest factors" to your set of facts. These are defined under Michigan law as the following 12 factors:
- Love, affection, and other emotional ties existing between the parties and the child.
- The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to give the child love, affection, guidance, continuation of the education and raising of the child in its religion or creed, if any.
- 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.
- The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment, and the desirability of maintaining continuity.
- The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home or homes.
- The moral fitness of the parties involved.
- The mental and physical health of the parties involved.
- The home, school, and community record of the child.
- The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient age to express preference.
- 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.
- Domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against or witnessed by the child.
- Any other factor considered by the court to be relevant to a particular child custody dispute.
The 12 "best interest factors" are very subjective and therefore it is imperative that you find a competent and experienced attorney to explain them to you, to review your particular set of circumstances and to apply them effectively to the court. We help our clients clearly understand the impact of these factors and will develop and present your case in the most compelling and persuasive manner possible.
Developing Parenting Plans for Fathers
Too many men assume there is nothing they can do to gain physical custody of their children. This simply isn't true. We will help you develop an appropriate custody or parenting time plan that will protect your rights and provide your children with a happy and healthy environment for the future.
Whatever level of custody you want, we will help you through the process so that you understand your obligations now and into the future. Your rights as a father are at stake. To schedule an appointment, please contact Arnson VanTol Law, PLC.