Family law issues concerning children are difficult to deal with, especially for parents. In the event of divorce, for example, child custody issues may well arise if there are minor children. Discussions over custody and visitation rights can heighten both parties' emotions.
Parents in Michigan need to understand their rights when it comes to their children. In this day and age, each family is unique and many unmarried parents are raising children. This presents various issues when it comes to custody.
Michigan child custody attorneys are mulling the latest decision from the state's supreme court, which recently handed down a ruling on Michigan's "one parent" doctrine. Last week, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the doctrine was unconstitutional.
When parents get a divorce, the focus may inevitably turn to who gets custody of their children. There are various issues to decide post-divorce or separation, including legal custody, physical custody, shared parenting time and visitation rights. Each family is different and therefore not every custody determination is the same, although every determination should consider the best interests of the children involved.
Family laws views appear to be shifting, and new trends toward joint parenting may soon impact Michigan families. More and more states are adopting legislation that puts a focus on joint or shared parenting, as opposed to the traditional bias toward granting a mother physical and legal custody.
Fathers in Michigan may sometimes feel like the family court system is stacked against them. Although many people say the court bias against dads is nothing but a myth, the numbers may be hard to ignore. As reported by the U.S. Census Bureau, roughly 24 percent of children live with their single mom, while only about 4 percent are living with their father.
Child custody situations can be fraught with emotion which is why the legal system seeks to help parents facing potential child custody disputes.
When parents separate, there are a few ways they can arrange custody of their children. Parents have the ability to ask a court for joint custody, which means that both parents will make all major decisions for the children together. Often, it is difficult for separated couples to make these joint decisions and a court will instead divide custody into legal and physical. Legal custody gives one parent the ability to make the major life decisions. Physical custody defines the parent who has primary physical care of the child.
While families and family members are often the bright spot in people's lives, sometimes families run into hard times or may not get along. It should be comforting for Michigan families to know that they have the support of the family court system and other public health and child services organizations to get them through these tough times. But the family court system isn't always perfect and can make mistakes. And while family courts often make tough decisions regarding custody issues, no parent wants to lose legal custody of their child simply for doing what he or she believes is in the best interests of the child.