Trenton Family Law Attorney

Trenton Family Law

Family law can be among the most contentious facet of a legal practice. When it comes to child support, child custody, parenting time and other matters concerning your children, you leave nothing to chance. That’s why you hire a top rated Trenton family law lawyer at The Mitten Law Firm. We’ll handle your case with the utmost sense of urgency and protect your parental rights, fighting for you in and out of the courtroom.

Trenton Child Custody Attorney

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Different Types of Child Custody In Michigan

There are two main types of custody in Michigan. Both are extremely important, and based on your parenting situation, you may elect to file for both or one type.

Legal Custody in Michigan

If your Trenton family law attorney is fighting for you to have legal custody, then they are arguing that you should make important decisions about your child’s health, education, religious upbringing and other matters. You can be awarded either joint or sole legal custody of your children in Michigan.

Physical Custody in Michigan

Your Trenton child custody lawyer can also fight for you to have physical custody of your children. Parents with physical custody will have parenting time with their children, and this is what determines the child’s primary address. Again, joint or sole physical custody can be awarded in Michigan, and your Trenton child custody attorney can file motions for either sole or joint physical custody on your behalf.

How Do Courts Determine Custody Arrangements in Michigan?

When it comes to child custody, Michigan laws are very clear cut. The court is in the position of determining what is in “the best interest of the child” when determining child custody. A Trenton child custody lawyer can help you determine what to do in order to preserve your parental rights. There are several factors that influence the court as to what is in the best interest of children. Some of these include:

  • Love, Affection, and Other Emotional Ties: The emotional bonds between the child and each parent, as well as with any siblings or other individuals involved in the child’s life. Your Trenton child custody attorney will ask you questions about the family in order to present the best case possible.
  • Capacity and Disposition of the Parties Involved: The ability and willingness of each parent to provide the child with love, affection, guidance, and continue the education and raising of the child in their religion or creed, if any.
  • Capacity to Provide the Child with Food, Clothing, and Medical Care: Each parent’s ability to meet the child’s material needs and provide a stable home environment. While this might seem to favor a parent that is working, child support can offset these costs in order to keep both parents in the child’s life.
  • Length of Time the Child Has Lived in a Stable, Satisfactory Environment: The duration and stability of the child’s current living situation, and the desirability of maintaining continuity.
  • Permanence of the Family Unit: The permanence and stability of the proposed custodial home as a family unit. A Trenton child custody lawyer will discuss your family home with you to make your case stronger.
  • Moral Fitness of the Parties Involved: The moral character of the parents and how it affects their ability to care for the child. If one or both parents are addicted to drugs, alcohol or otherwise live a self-indulgent lifestyle, this can severely impact their case. Despite being legalized, excessive marijuana use can impact your child custody case.
  • Mental and Physical Health of the Parties Involved: The physical and mental health of the parents and their impact on the child’s well-being. Different mental health issues can also play a major role in both divorce and child custody.
  • Home, School, and Community Record of the Child: The child’s adjustment to their home, school, and community. Many children experience some issues when changing schools or when there is a custody dispute, so the courts take this into account.
  • Reasonable Preference of the Child: The preference of the child, if the court considers the child to be of sufficient age to express a preference.
  • Willingness and Ability to Facilitate and Encourage a Close and Continuing Parent-Child Relationship: Each parent’s willingness to support the child’s relationship with the other parent. This is one reason to avoid arguing about custody matters with your child’s other parent, especially via text or email.
  • Domestic Violence: The presence of domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against or witnessed by the child.
  • Any Other Factor: Any other factor that the court considers relevant to a particular child custody dispute. This can include if the child has special needs not covered when analyzing other factors.

It is very important that you communicate honestly with your Trenton family law attorney to help you get the desired outcome of your child custody hearing. If you leave details out or lie, you can put the custody of your children in jeopardy.

Trenton Child Support Lawyer

When it comes to child support, Michigan courts have a specific formula they follow. This helps to ensure a child’s needs are met and that one parent is not bearing the financial responsibility for their children alone. Your Trenton child custody attorney can help file motions to have child support ordered, modify an existing child support order or even have the courts enforce child support due to non-payment.

The Child Support Formula

The Michigan courts have a specific formula to determine an order of child support. The formula is set to be fair to both parents and provide the level of support that is in the child’s best interests. Below is an outline of the formula the courts use to determine child support. Your Trenton child support attorney will provide more insight into the way the formula is applied in your specific situation.

Calculating Child Support in Michigan

The following factors make up the formula to determine child support orders in Michigan child custody cases:

  • Gross Income of both parents: Gross income includes wages, salaries, bonuses, commissions, self-employment income, unemployment benefits, disability benefits, and other sources of income.
  • Income adjustments: Certain adjustments are made to gross income, such as deductions for taxes, mandatory retirement contributions, and health insurance premiums for the child.
  • Base support obligations: Using adjusted gross income, the court then takes the amount of money required to provide care for the child. This includes food, shelter, clothing, and education. This is then divided between the two parents based on their incomes. So for example if one parent has an AGI of $80,000 and the other parent has an AGI of $40,000, then the parent making more will pay 2/3 of the child’s expenses, while the other parent will pay 1/3.
  • Offset for parenting time: The formula takes into account the number of overnights the child spends with each parent. A “parenting time offset” is applied to adjust the support amount, reflecting the expenses incurred by the parent who has the child for more overnights. This offset ensures both parents are contributing fairly in proportion to their time spent with the child.
  • Health care costs: The formula includes provisions for health care costs. Parents are required to provide health insurance for the child if it is available at a reasonable cost. Uninsured medical expenses are typically divided between the parents based on their income ratios.
  • Child care: The cost of child care necessary for a parent to work or seek employment is also factored into the support calculation. These costs are divided between the parents proportionately based on their incomes. At a certain point, child care costs are no longer considered a necessary expense, and will no longer be factored into the formula.
  • Additional factors: As all situations are different, the court can take certain things into consideration, such as extraordinary education expenses, special needs of the child, or other circumstances that are pertinent to the case.

A Trenton Child Support Attorney Can Help Modify a Child Support Order

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A Trenton family law attorney can help you with child support matters. Sometimes there is already an order in place and you require a modification. Modifications can be ordered based on several different circumstances. Whether you are struggling to make child support payments, you need the amount of child support you receive increased, or other material circumstances have changed, your Trenton child support lawyer can file for modification on your behalf.

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