Resolving Your Child Custody Issues

Arriving at an acceptable child custody arrangement is one of the most critical aspects of any divorce with children. I am attorney Julie Hlywa, and I have been involved in — and won — some fiercely contested child custody cases. I understand the deep concerns you may have about what will happen to your children. I am also committed to fighting for your parental rights in the establishment of visitation — also called parenting time.

Understanding Physical And Legal Child Custody

If you have children, two types of custody must be resolved before your divorce can be finalized:

  • Physical custody refers to where the child or children will live after the divorce. In the vast majority of cases, the noncustodial parent is granted specific visitation rights and parenting time.
  • Legal custody refers to a parent's right to involvement in decisions about his or her children's medical care, education and other activities. Joint legal custody is common, but this type of custody can also be contested.

Factors In Custody Cases And Decisions

In accordance with Michigan's Child Custody Act, the guiding principle for all court decisions is the best interests of the children. Although Michigan is a no-fault divorce state — meaning that you do not have to cite or prove grounds for divorce — our courts may consider the conduct of parents in making child custody and visitation decisions. Factors considered can include:

  • Emotional ties between each child and parent
  • Ability of each parent to provide for the children's physical and emotional needs
  • Importance of maintaining and continuing the child's currently stable environment
  • Mental and physical health of all parties involved (including any existence or allegations of substance abuse)

I will provide honest, realistic counsel on your case. If my experience and legal knowledge indicate that your child custody goals are unlikely to be fulfilled, I will tell you this. However, I can also advise you on how to improve your situation in the eyes of the court, building the best possible case under your unique circumstances.

Contact Me For A Free Consultation

In every Michigan divorce or other custody case, the parties must appear at a court hearing, resulting in a Friend of the Court recommendation. As a lawyer, I have extensive experience representing my clients' interests in these hearings. Contact me today at The Law Offices of Julie A. Hlywa to discuss your divorce and any child custody or visitation concerns you have. Call my office at 586-415-0093.

"You are great at making your clients feel comfortable, and you really listened to what we had to say. Thank you for all your help with our problem." — Christine P., August 2006