Child Custody and Support

Child Custody and Support Services in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County

For Michigan parents going through separation or divorce, nothing is more important than the well-being of their children. The prospect of a legal matter affecting your relationship with your children is deeply unsettling, and unfamiliarity with the legal process can make dealing with child support and custody issues still more difficult.

Lisa J. Peterson, P.L.L.C. offers family law clients the information, support, and advocacy they need regarding these matters that have a deep impact on both parents and children.

Ann Arbor Child Custody and Parenting Time Attorney

Parents are almost always free to arrive at custody and parenting time arrangements that suit their family's needs through negotiation or mediation. If parents are unable to agree, the family court must make decisions about child custody and parenting time. In Michigan, child custody decisions are based on the "best interests of the child."

Michigan family courts must consider twelve "best interests" factors when determining custody. These include:

  • The love, affection, and other emotional ties existing between the parties involved and the child;
  • The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity;
  • The moral fitness of the parties involved;
  • The mental and physical health of the parties;
  • The reasonable preference of the child, if the court considers the child to be of sufficient age to express a preference;
  • Domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against or witnessed by the child.

In addition to these and the other factors enumerated in the Michigan Compiled Laws, the court may consider any other factor it deems relevant, such as special needs of the child, a threat of kidnapping, or relationships with step-siblings or half-siblings.

As a parent, you know every detail of your family's situation, but a judge can only make decisions on child custody and parenting time based on the information presented to him or her. Attorney Lisa Peterson has the skill and training to help parents reach agreement whenever possible. If agreement can't be reached, she will advocate effectively before the Friend of the Court or a judge, giving the court the information it needs to make a good decision for your family.

Washtenaw County Child Support Attorney

In Michigan, parents are both obligated to support their children to the best of their ability. Child support is determined by complex guidelines based on parental income and parenting time, as well as factors such as how much each parent pays for health insurance and child care. A support amount for each parent is determined, and those amounts are offset against each other, with the parent who owes the larger amount paying the other.

Although child support is determined by formula, the amount of child support the formula dictates is only as good as the data fed into the formula. Lisa is familiar with the intricacies of the Michigan Child Support Guidelines, and understands how to make sure that calculations yield a fair and accurate child support award. When life circumstances change, as they often do, Lisa also helps clients pursue modification or enforcement of child support awards as needed.

With offices conveniently located in downtown Ann Arbor, Lisa J. Peterson, P.L.L.C. serves clients throughout Washtenaw County, including Milan, Saline, Ypsilanti, Chelsea, Manchester, and Dexter, as well as in Oakland, Wayne and other nearby Michigan counties. We welcome you to contact us for a free consultation about your Michigan child support, custody, or parenting time matter.

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