Every year, numerous families in Michigan are affected by divorce. This leaves parents trying to figure out the best way to handle the custody issue. Many courts are leaning toward joint custody arrangements. What does that mean? Who can get it and how can a family law attorney help resolve custody matters?

Joint custody is where both parents are awarded some level of both physical and legal custody of their children. The goal is to try for as close to a 50/50 split as possible. Meaning, each parent should get about equal time with the children, and both parents should have a say when it comes to important life decisions that affect their kids.

Studies have shown that joint custody has many benefits for the children over sole custody arrangements. However, it is not appropriate in every situation. If one parent has a history of violence or abuse, if the parent-child relationship is strained, or if there is any other reason that a joint custody arrangement would prove a hindrance to a child’s growth and development, requests for shared custody may be declined.

Michigan residents who wish to pursue joint custody as part of their divorce agreements, or even after the fact through a custody modification request, may do so. A family law attorney can help one file the necessary petition and, if necessary, present one’s case in court. At the end of the day, a judge will get the final say, but with legal counsel at one’s side, every effort can be made to get the custody arrangement that will best serve the children.

Source: FindLaw, “Joint Custody“, Accessed on May 25, 2018