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Custody and Parenting Time

Establishing a suitable custody arrangement for minor children can be overwhelming for many couples going through a divorce. It is very important to begin a custody discussion with an open mind and loving heart. Parents want their children to grow up in a loving environment; which is accomplished by establishing an appropriate custodial environment for their children.

Custody refers to two subcategories – legal and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the right to make major decision about raising a child, such as the child's medical care, school, and religion. Joint legal custody requires both parents to agree about these decisions. Physical custody refers to day-to-day care of the child. Physical custody applies to where the child spends overnights, whether with the mother or the father. Physical custody is different from parenting time. Joint physical custody typically refers to equally shared time with the children.

The custodial relationship is established and/or confirmed in the initial stages of divorce.

Custody can be altered at a later time; however, it is more difficult to accomplish. Initially, the court will try to determine the established custodial environment. Established custodial environment is the custodial environment of the child, established over an appreciable time where the child looks to the custodian for guidance, discipline, and necessities of life, and parental comfort. The child's age, physical environment, and inclination to the permanency of the relationship is also considered.

Looking out for your children's best interest is very important. Contact Great Lakes Family Probate & Estates for a custody and parenting time consultation today at 1-888-554-5373 or [email protected]