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Livingston County Child Custody Attorney

We are highly adept at finding the balance in child custody arrangements. As a parent, it would serve you best to take your emotions out of the situation. At the same time, you do not want to let the other parent walk all over you. As your advocates, we can obtain fair, reasonable child custody arrangements that protect your rights and the best interests of your children.

For more than 45 years, our Howell and Brighton child custody attorneys have sought the best possible outcomes for parents. At Gormley Law Offices, PLC, we are trial lawyers who do not litigate merely for the sake of litigating. Rather, we weigh the benefits litigation will have for the overall outcome of the children. In a divorce with kids, we would rather see parents reach a negotiated agreement. After all, they must share the children and communicate for the next 18 years or more.

Child custody will include physical custody and legal custody. Our firm adeptly handles other issues involving child custody, including mothers’ and fathers’ rights, relocations and parenting time or visitation concerns. To learn more, call us at 517-219-9301 for a free consultation.

What Is Physical Custody?

As dedicated attorneys, we help parents arrive at fair custody arrangements. Physical custody refers to where the children live. There are a set of 12 factors based on state law and used to determine the best interests of the children. Some of the factors include:

  • Love, affection and emotional ties between each parent and child
  • Length of time the child has lived in a stable environment and which parent can continue to provide it
  • Moral fitness of the parents
  • Mental and physical health of the parents
  • Preference of the child, depending on the child’s age and maturity level
  • Presence of domestic violence in household
  • Day care costs

What Is Legal Custody?

Legal custody refers to the right to make decisions on behalf of the children. These decisions involve the health, education and welfare of the kids. In Michigan, joint legal custody or joint custody is generally awarded unless there is a reason against it.

Setting Goals Can Help Keep You Focused During Child Custody Situations

People who are coming into a co-parenting situation might not know exactly what it will entail. While there are many things that can help you to do this, one of the most important is for you to set goals. These goals should cover all aspects of parenting so that you can focus on them no matter what is going on at the time.

While you might need to change these areas up a bit to meet your needs, this list is a good place to start. Some of these areas will require the help of your ex, but others are strictly based on your personal desires.

  • Estate and financial planning: Ensure that you have a plan for your children if something happens to you. This includes establishing an estate plan, as well as trusts that can help to support them if you aren’t here any longer. Additionally, plan for how you will handle money matters now. This includes discussing how child-related expenses, such as school clothes costs, will be handled.
  • Communication with your ex: You need to set a plan for dealing with your ex. This might not be easy, especially if your ex is passive-aggressive or narcissistic. Be prepared for fits and manipulation. Decide where you will draw the line with how communication is going and stick to those limits. It might be beneficial to communicate through a recorded method so you can go back and review what was said and agreed to.
  • Decision-making powers: You and your ex should have a plan for how decisions about your children will be made. Normal decisions like where the child will go to school or when they will have their “well child checkup” may fall on one parent. But, you can’t stop at the usual decisions. You need to figure out how emergency situations will be handled.
  • Interactions with children: The way you interact with the children have a big impact on them. You need to focus on creating a calm environment where they can feel safe. Trying to create new traditions and deciding what is truly important when you are with them can help you to find the balance that you need.

Some of the goals that you have are dependent on the terms of the child custody order. The parenting plan in Michigan will include a schedule for when you will have the children with you. Review this order so that you can be sure you aren’t doing anything that goes against the order.

More Child Custody Questions? Talk To Us Today.

Gormley Law Offices, PLC, serves clients in Livingston County and surrounding communities, including Brighton, Howell and Fowlerville. Would you like to speak with an attorney regarding primary custody, joint physical custody, child support or any other issue involving your kids? To schedule your free consultation, call 517-219-9301.

You may also contact our firm online. Our office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, with weekend and evening hours by appointment.