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When you need legal guidance regarding your custody options, you've come to the right place.  Read on for help with your specific situation or call our office for a consultation. 

Call 269-381-4471

Parenting Time Options and Ideas

Custody for Parents going through a Divorce

Changing Custody

Legal Custody

Changing Parenting Time

Custody for Unmarried Fathers

Custody for Unmarried Mothers

The issue of "custody" of children typically comes up as part of a divorce, custody, support or paternity case.  There are two "types" of custody that must be decided.


Legal custody is very commonly awarded as "joint legal custody".  Joint legal custody gives each parent the right to share decision-making authority as to the important decisions affecting the welfare of any children.  Each would have the full legal capacity, as a parent, to authorize emergency medical treatment for the children whenever an emergency may arise while the child is in that parent’s care.  Each parent will have complete access to medical, school, and other documentary information concerning the child.  Important decisions shall include, but shall not be limited to, notification of school conferences, special activities, serious academic or medical conditions, and any contemplated change in the child’s schooling.  In the event of a disagreement with regard to the decision-making authority hereunder, the matter shall be first submitted through the Friend of the Court.


Furthermore, joint legal custody requires the parents to:

a.         Foster, encourage, and support the relationship between the child and the other parent;

b.         Have access to the child’s medical and school records;

c.         Advise each other promptly of any serious illness, emergency, or any other significant that may arise while the child is with him or her;

d.         Decide all routine matters concerning the child’s welfare during the time the child is in his or her respective possession;

e.         support the other in enforcement of reasonable rules and regulations for the children;

f.          Respect and support the other party’s religion; and

g.         Refrain from any action that may estrange the children from the other parent or tend to discredit, cause disrespect to, or diminish the quality of the relationship with the other parent.


Inalienable Rights - The children have the right to the love and affection of both parents. The parties shall cooperate during child-rearing to promote the well-being of the children and maintain strong parent-child relationships. The parties must also cooperate in carrying out the child-related provisions of this judgment.



Physical custody is also commonly some version of "joint physical custody".  Note that "joint" doesn't necessarily mean "equal parenting time".  Typically, a parenting time schedule will be laid out that will specify which parent has parenting time and when.


Other issues with custody include:

  • Most Judgments specify that the legal residence of a child cannot be moved more than 100 miles from the other legal residence without consent of the other parent or the Court and the domicile of a child cannot be moved from the State of Michigan without the consent of the Court.

  • Parenting time has an impact on child support calculations, please see Child Support for further discussion on this.


Custody and parenting time are complicated and important to get right the first time you go to Court as it is very dificult to change them later on.  Talk to one of our attorneys today to make sure you understand all of your rights and responsibilities.  269-381-4471


121 W Cedar Street

Kalamazoo, MI 49007

All information provided on this site should not be construed as legal advice.   Always meet with an attorney to find out your legal options.

Copyright 2020 Stancati, Hencken & Greenlee P.C.