Child Custody

Novi Child Custody Lawyer

Child Custody Attorney in Oakland County

Child custody cases can be extremely stressful, as the fate of your children and your relationship with them rests in a judge’s decision.

The arguments and disputes in child custody cases can become extremely heated, often resulting in stress and anxiety for all involved—including the children. Enlisting the representation of an aggressive Novi child custody attorney can help ensure your rights as a parent are protected, as well as the best interests of your child.

Our custody lawyer at the Law Offices of Elaine Stypula offers experienced legal representation and guidance through complex family law and child custody cases.


Fighting for fair child custody? Call our child custody lawyer at (248) 565-3800 or contact us online. 


What Are the Child Custody Laws in Michigan?

Michigan child custody laws allow for custody to be awarded in multiple ways:

  • Legal custody is the arrangement that allows for the parent to have authority to make major life decisions for the children.
  • Physical custody is having the children stay or live with you.
  • Joint custody gives both parents an equal amount of say in raising the children, which means this type of custody is often reserved for cases where parents are willing to work together to raise the child.

Our child custody attorney in Oakland County has experience raising children and developing working parenting time schedules. Our child custody lawyers know how to anticipate potential problems and potential future issues with child custody that can be addressed ahead of time to avoid costly litigation or disputes down the road.

How Is Child Custody Determined in Michigan?

  • The court commonly reviews many aspects in making a child custody determination, including:
  • The health and safety of the children
  • How the custody arrangement can affect the educational needs of the children
  • The ability of the parents to work together
  • How the children are emotionally bonded with each parent
  • If the possible custody arrangement may put the children in a dangerous situation
  • The child's bond with the local community (teachers, friends, church, etc.)

What Is an Unfit Parent in Michigan?

The legal definition of an unfit parent is one who fails to provide proper guidance, care, or support for their child, especially in terms of abuse, neglect, or substance abuse issues.

Can Sole Custody be Reversed in Michigan? 

In Michigan, like in many other states, sole custody can be reversed under certain circumstances, but it is not a simple or automatic process. Sole custody is a legal arrangement where one parent has primary physical and legal custody of the child, and the other parent may have limited or supervised visitation rights. If a parent with sole custody wishes to reverse this arrangement, they typically need to file a petition with the court seeking a modification of the custody order.

To succeed in reversing sole custody, the parent must demonstrate a significant change in circumstances that warrants the modification. The court's primary consideration is the best interests of the child, and they will carefully review the reasons for the requested change. Common reasons that might lead to a reversal of sole custody include a substantial improvement in the non-custodial parent's living situation, a change in the custodial parent's ability to care for the child, or the child's own preference (if they are of a sufficient age to express their wishes).

Courts are generally hesitant to disrupt a stable custodial arrangement unless there is compelling evidence that it is in the child's best interests to do so. The parent seeking the reversal of sole custody must present strong evidence to support their case. It is advisable for parents to consult with an experienced family lawyer to understand the legal requirements and to navigate the court process effectively.

Can Custody Be Changed After Divorce?

Yes, child custody arrangements can be modified after a divorce. In many cases, the court recognizes that circumstances can change over time, and it may be necessary to revisit and update custody arrangements to serve the best interests of the child. Here are some common reasons for modifying child custody after a divorce:

  • Substantial Change in Circumstances: Courts typically require a substantial change in circumstances to consider modifying child custody. These changes could include a parent's relocation, changes in a parent's work schedule, changes in the child's needs, or a parent's ability to provide a stable and safe environment.
  • Parental Agreement: If both parents agree to a custody modification, they can submit the agreed-upon changes to the court for approval. In such cases, the court is more likely to grant the modification.
  • Best Interests of the Child: Courts always prioritize the best interests of the child when making custody decisions. If a modification is proposed, it must be shown that the change would better serve the child's well-being and overall development.
  • Safety Concerns: If one parent believes that the child's safety and well-being are at risk in the current custody arrangement, they may seek a modification to protect the child.
  • Relocation: A parent's relocation, especially if it significantly impacts the current custody arrangement, may warrant a modification. Courts may need to determine how the child's relationship with both parents can be maintained in light of the move.
  • Parental Ability: If there are concerns about a parent's ability to provide appropriate care or if there are changes in a parent's lifestyle (e.g., substance abuse or criminal behavior), this could be a reason for modifying custody.
  • Child's Preference: Depending on the child's age and maturity, the court may take their preference into account when considering custody modifications. However, the child's preference is just one factor among many.

It's important to note that any proposed custody modification typically requires court approval. Both parents should work together to reach an agreement when possible, and if an agreement is not possible, they may need to present their case to the court. Courts aim to ensure that any custody changes are made in the best interests of the child. It's advisable to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law to navigate the legal process when seeking a custody modification.

Creating a Parenting Plan That Works for Your Family

When it comes to child custody cases, it is important to create a parenting plan that prioritizes the best interests of your child. Our experienced child custody lawyers at Law Offices of Elaine Stypula can help you navigate through the complexities of Michigan's child custody laws and guide you in creating a comprehensive parenting plan that works for your unique family situation.

Key aspects of a well-crafted parenting plan include:

  • Child custody and visitation schedules that consider the child's age, school schedule, and extracurricular activities
  • Allocation of decision-making responsibilities regarding the child's education, healthcare, and religious upbringing
  • Provisions for communication and co-parenting, including methods of resolving disputes
  • Guidelines for sharing holidays, vacations, and special occasions
  • Provisions for the child's transportation between parents' residences

By working closely with our child custody attorneys, you can ensure that your parenting plan is tailored to meet the specific needs and best interests of your child, while also taking into account your own rights and responsibilities as a parent.

Mediation vs. Litigation: Which is Best for Your Child Custody Case?

Going through a child custody case can be emotionally draining, especially when parents cannot agree on a parenting plan. At Law Offices of Elaine Stypula, our Novi child custody lawyers understand the importance of finding a solution that works for both parents and the child's best interests.

When it comes to resolving child custody disputes, there are two main options: mediation and litigation. Here's what you need to know:

  • Mediation: In mediation, a neutral third party mediator helps parents come to an agreement on custody arrangements. This option can be less stressful and costly than going to court.
  • Litigation: If parents cannot agree on custody arrangements, they may need to go to court and have a judge make the decision. This option can be more time-consuming and expensive, but it may be necessary in cases where one parent is deemed unfit or there are safety concerns.

Our experienced child custody attorneys in Oakland County can help you determine which option is best for your unique situation and guide you through the legal process. We are committed to protecting your child's best interests and finding a solution that works for your family.

Need Legal Help for Your Child Custody Case? Call Our Custody Lawyer Today!

Our Novi-based child custody lawyer Elaine Stypula has earned a reputation of providing skilled representation for complex family law issues. She provides strategic legal counsel through heated custody and support matters, helping her clients move through each step of the process with peace of mind and security.

Our custody lawyer cares about the individuals she represents and always strives to deliver the guidance they need from start to finish.


Call our Novi child custody lawyer at (248) 565-3800 or contact us online. We are here to help you pursue the light at the end of the tunnel.


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