Grand Rapids's Leading Child Support Lawyer
Bailey Smith & Bailey, P.C. is a top-rated family law firm helping families in the Grand Rapids area with the divorce process, including child custody, child support, spousal support, and more. We strive to help our clients address their custody and visitation issues as efficiently and effectively as possible in order to minimize the additional stress placed on their entire family.
At the law office of Bailey Smith & Bailey, P.C., our attorneys and staff offer personalized and tailored representation to clients across the Central Michigan region. Our dedicated Mid-Michigan family law attorneys have more than 60 years of combined experience. When visiting our firm to meet with one of our Michigan attorneys, you will be meeting with the lawyer who will be handling your case from start to finish. We provide a level of one-on-one service that large firms simply cannot match.
Grand Rapids Divorce & Child Custody Attorneys
The resolution of child custody and visitation disputes requires divorcing parents to act rationally in their child's best interests at a time when they are facing the overwhelming stress of divorce. Child custody and visitation issues are complex and can be difficult to handle on your own.
At the office of Bailey Smith & Bailey, PC, our lawyers and staff take the time to educate clients on their rights and options to help them make informed decisions about their cases. Our attorneys are experienced in family court and will aggressively pursue a resolution that best suits your specific child custody and/or visitation preferences.
When facing a divorce involving children, it's important to familiarize yourself with important terms, such as physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody involves the actual living arrangements of the child, including the rights and responsibilities associated with daily childcare. Legal custody is the right to make decisions about the child's education, healthcare, and religion.
Physical and legal custody can be apportioned in numerous ways:
When sole physical custody is awarded or agreed upon, one parent has the right to have the child live primarily with him or her. That parent is then known as the custodial parent and the other parent becomes the non-custodial parent. Many parents have arrangements consisting of sole physical custody, joint legal custody and a generous visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent.
In joint custody, parents share responsibility for major decision-making and/or physical control and custody of the children. Parents with joint physical custody usually share legal custody, but joint legal custody does not necessarily imply joint physical custody. Parents need to be able to work together in the rearing of their children when they have joint legal custody.
This is a less popular option, in which each parent takes custody of a different child, also called "Bird's Nest Custody" or "Bird Nesting." This arrangement allows children to remain in the pre-divorce family home while parents take turns moving in and out. At the beginning of a divorce, temporary parenting time should be established right away. This gives the parties structured access to the children throughout the course of the divorce.
Once custody has been established through agreement or court order, parents may seek court involvement to modify the established arrangement. To support a modification request, the parent seeking the modification must show a substantial change in circumstances. If the modification request is within two years of the original custody determination, some states will only consider the request if the child is endangered by the custody arrangement.
If you have questions about divorce, child custody, child support or alimony, contact our firm to schedule a consultation with an experienced family law attorney for straightforward answers.
Child Support in Michigan
Whether your child is an infant or about to graduate from high school, Michigan child support laws dictate how much support will be paid in order to provide for the child. The amount awarded is governed by a specific formula which requires that a shared economic formula should be used to calculate the amount to be paid.
The income of the parties and number of overnights that are used in the formula must be precise in order for the amount of child support to be calculated accurately. Some of factors included in the formula are (but are not limited to):
- How many children are involved
- Child care expenses
- Medical insurance
- Income of the parents
- The number of overnights spent with a child
It is essential that you have the guidance of a knowledgeable Michigan divorce attorney to help you sort through the various factors related to child support. Our knowledgeable attorneys provide informative legal counsel designed to help clients understand their rights and responsibilities under Michigan's child support guidelines. We are committed to protecting the best interests of our clients and their children.
Successful Cases & Client Testimonials
Excellent, honest, trustworthy advice... great customer service"Amy helped me through one of the most difficult times of my life and treated me throughout the entire process with dignity and respect. I felt like she listened to me when I informed her of my goals and that she did everything within her ability to help me achieve them.No one wins in a divorce, but my ex and I are still cordial with one another and work together to be co-parents ... and I truly believe that was as a result of Amy's professionalism."
"I worked with Mark Bailey on a child custody case, everything turned out great, and my children are now living with me. I would highly recommend their company for your divorce & custody needs." A.A.*
Before making any decisions about your divorce, turn to the experienced lawyers at our firm for assistance and guidance. We will review the many aspects of your case and advise you on how to seek an effective divorce resolution. Contact our office today or fill out or online form to request a consultation with an experienced attorney.