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Caring and Professional Family Law Services

Kalamazoo Child Custody Attorneys

Western Michigan Child Visitation Lawyers

Every child custody, visitation and parenting time case is factually unique. At the law firm of Peter A. D' Angelo, PLC, we will assist you in attempting to reach a fair negotiated resolution to your case. However, if the other side is not reasonable or the facts do not merit a negotiated resolution, we will vigorously defend your rights at court.

Child custody and visitation issues can arise as part of a divorce, custody action, paternity or child support case. Our lawyers represent mothers and fathers in Portage, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and other communities throughout Western Michigan. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case.

Legal and Physical Child Custody

There are two central concepts involving child custody: legal and physical custody. Legal custody involves the right to make important decisions such as medical care and education. It also touches upon concepts regarding geographical location. Physical custody involves the concept of the actual possession of your child where your child will reside.

Legal custody is just as important as physical custody. Many different custody and parenting time arrangements are possible and range from sole custody for one parent to equal custody shared between both parents. It is incredibly important for you and the other parent to formulate a schedule for parenting time and visitation. If your relationship is amicable, our lawyers can help you create a reasonable child visitation plan that gives you and the other parent the parenting time you deserve. We will vigorously defend your right to see your child and not let the other parent dictate the terms of your relationship with your child. Our firm also handles interstate and out-of-state custody matters involving the Michigan courts.

If you pursue mediation, you and the other parent can work together to come up with a physical and legal custody plan tailored to the needs of your family. If an amicable agreement cannot be reached, our lawyers are prepared to litigate your case in court.

Child Custody Is Based on the Best Interests of Children

If you and your spouse cannot reach a custody agreement, the court will decide based on its perception of the best interests of your children. This perception might deviate from what you and the other parent believe to be the best arrangement. The court will examine and weigh various factors when making its decision:

  • The love, affection and other emotional ties existing between the parties involved and the child
  • The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to give the child love, affection and guidance and to continue the education and raising of the child in his or her 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 considers the child to be of sufficient age to express a preference
  • The willingness and ability of each of party to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent or the child and the parents
  • 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 (Michigan Compiled Laws - Section: 552.16 and 722.23)

Child custody can be modified after divorce or a final custody order has been entered. Normally the court will examine your case to see if there is a change in circumstances or a proper cause that affects the best interest of your children.

Free Child Visitation Consultation

Call 269-488-0089 or send us an e-mail to schedule a free initial consultation with our Kalamazoo child custody lawyers. Evening and weekend appointments are available.

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