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Addressing Child Custody Concerns In Brighton & Howell

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. We would rather see you and the other parent reach a negotiated agreement. After all, you 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.

How do I choose a good family lawyer?

It’s important to have someone you can talk to. If you’re able to be open and honest with your attorney, the two of you can find a solution that truly works for you.

Some people find it best to interview potential lawyers. This gives you a feel for their communication style. Remember, a lawyer works for you – not the other way around. Another important thing to discuss right away is payment. Understanding potential costs is a key component in legal cases.

When should I hire a family lawyer?

We how intimidating the legal system can be. However, it is best to get experienced guidance instead of trying to figure it out on your own. If you choose to go without representation, you could end up in a less-than-favorable position. We are here to protect your best interests every step of the way.

How can a family lawyer help you?

By knowing the laws, a family lawyer can put your case in favorable position. This is important when it comes to custody schedules, dividing property and determining alimony.

These cases are often highly emotional. Lawyers think logically and keep your best interests in mind. They also can clearly explain what your options are.

Ultimately, you will have to make the decisions as to how to move forward. However, having a clear understanding of what you can do is crucial. That is where our team can step in.

What should I look for in a family lawyer?

Someone you can trust is the most important asset. Since an attorney acts on your behalf, making sure that they understand your concerns is imperative.

For example, our firm has handled complex family law cases for almost 25 years. We are hands-on, communicative and compassionate. Our clients truly feel like the have an ally in their corner. This can make all the difference when you’re caught in a difficult situation.

How long will my family law case take to resolve?

Unfortunately, there is no set timeline for resolving a family law issue (or a set of issues, as is often required when getting a divorce). Each family is unique, which means each case is unique. As a general rule, however, any family law issue is likely to resolve more quickly if both sides can maintain open communication and show a willingness to negotiate. Conversely, if both parties dig their heels in and refuse to even consider an alternative position, the dispute could go on indefinitely.

Should I try to find a family law lawyer who shares a similar personality to mine?

Not necessarily. It is important to find an attorney you feel you can trust and with whom you can be open/honest. For this reason, you may think you need to hire someone like yourself. However, lawyers of many different personality types can be effective. Moreover, hiring someone with a different personality can be advantageous because they might offer a perspective about your case that you didn’t think of.

As we noted above, you do need to trust your attorney and to know that they are working in your best interest. This is something we attempt to show our clients each day – just as we have for the past 25 years.

Will allegations of domestic violence greatly impact my family law case?

Violence and threats of violence are an issue that often looms large in family law cases – particularly divorce and child custody matters. Whether you are the alleged perpetrator or the alleged victim, allegations of domestic violence will likely play a significant role in both the process and the outcome of the case.

When we represent you, we will help you give the court an honest and accurate picture of what has occurred – without minimizing or exaggerating – and provide any necessary context. Because we also practice criminal law, we are ideally suited to guide clients through criminal charges, personal protection orders and related matters.

Should I limit my social media use until my family law issue is resolved?

Since Facebook launched in the early 2000s, it and other social media sites have become a treasure trove of information in divorce, custody and other family law matters. As a general rule, it is a good idea to limit your use of social media during this time or at least be especially judicious about what you choose to post. You should assume that despite your privacy settings, anything you post online could later be seen by your spouse/co-parent, an attorney or the judge overseeing your case.

Call Our Trusted Family Law Attorneys To Discuss Your Case

In addition, we handle premarital agreements, paternity, stepparent adoptions, guardianships, estate planning and related concerns. To schedule your free consultation, call 517-219-9301 or email us. We serve clients in Livingston County and in nearby communities like Lansing/East Lansing, Howell and Brighton.