1662 East Centre Avenue
Portage, MI 49002
Ph: 269.324.7344
Fx: 269.324.2767

4625 Beckley Road
Building 400, Suite 4003
Battle Creek, MI 49015
Ph: 269.968.1101
Fx: 269.968.9505

Child Support & Custody

Child Custody

Child custody is often the most difficult aspect of divorce. When dealing with such an emotionally charged issue, you need an understanding attorney who knows family law. There are two types of custody; legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody involves the parents' rights to make decisions regarding the health, education and welfare of the child. Physical custody determines which parent has the actual physical right to be with the child.

Unless there are unusual circumstances, most parents share joint legal custody. Physical custody can also be joint between the parents or one parent can have sole physical custody and the other parent will have visitation rights set up in a parenting time schedule.

Child custody orders can also be modified. Modification requires proper cause or a change in circumstance. Once proper cause or a change in circumstances is found by the judge, s/he will consider where the child's established custodial environment lies. Once this is determined, the judge will then apply the appropriate evidentiary standard and decide what custodial arrangement is in the child's best interests.

Our firm has experience creating reasonable, practicable custody and parenting time plans that support the children's best interests. Walling & Foster works with parents who have problems involving

  • Contested child custody issues
  • Parenting time schedules
  • Non-custodial parenting rights
  • Paternity issues

If you are facing problems with child custody issues, contact Michael B. Walling, PLC to speak with a qualified family law attorney for a free consultation.

Child Support

The Michigan Child Support Guideline determines the amount of child support to be paid to a parent. A custodial parent may receive child support for a child until the child reaches the age of 18 years or graduates from high school (whichever is later). However support cannot be received by the custodial parent if a child is beyond the age of 19 years and 6 months.

The Child Support Guideline considers both parents' incomes, the number of children involved and how many overnights each parent spends with the children. Child support is paid through the Friend of the Court, unless the child support recipient requests payments to be paid directly to him/her. Child support is also modifiable if a parent shows that a change in circumstances warrants a modification.

The child support formula provides an objective basis for determination of the amount of support to be paid. The amount of support depends on many factors, but is centered on the needs of the children and their parents' ability to pay. Other factors such as income, earning ability, education, day care and medical expenses are all taken into consideration in determining child support. Certain circumstances may change that may require a modification in child support. For example:

  • The children may now spend more time with the other parent
  • Child support has not been reviewed for many years
  • There may be an appreciable difference in the amount of income earned by a parent
  • Loss of job for a parent
  • Children may reach age 18 or graduate from high school, and an adjustment to child support is needed for the remaining minor children
  • Large medical expenses for a child or the need for special education

An attorney can help you negotiate these changes. Some require the filing of a motion and perhaps a recommendation by the Friend of the Court to resolve these issues. Contact Michael B. Walling, PLC to speak with an understanding and qualified attorney for a free consultation.


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