Schmidt & Long, Child Custody Attorney, Lisa J. Schmidt, Ferndale, Michigan

Your kids mean everything to you. But when a family includes step-parents, half-siblings, and unwed partners, custody issues can get complicated. You need a child custody and paternity attorney who understands how the Michigan laws work together to protect you and your child’s best interests.

Schmidt & Long post-judgment custody modification attorney

Child Custody & Parenting Time

The Child Custody Act is at the center of every Michigan family law matter involving a child. Whether you are establishing paternity, fighting for custody, or going through a divorce, this law sets out how the court will award custody of your children. Child custody attorney Lisa J. Schmidt will walk you through the law’s 12 Best Interest Factors and explain what you can expect.

The Child Custody Act also controls parenting time schedules. It is assumed that every child will benefit from a relationship with both parents. While this can be overcome in severe cases– like abuse or mental health situations – you should expect that your ex will at least get to see your children on a regular basis. What that schedule looks like will depend on factors including:

  • How close the parents live to one another

  • The age of the children

  • The parents’ work schedules

  • The number of overnights awarded to each parent

Custody lawyer Lisa J. Schmidt will work with you to negotiate a schedule that fits your existing obligations and helps your children maintain their relationships without causing undue stress.

Child Support

Every parent has an obligation to provide support to his or her children. That’s why child support is a part of every custody and parenting time order. In Michigan, the right to child support belongs to the child, not the custodial parent. So even if your co-parent says he or she doesn’t need support, you may end up paying based on the Michigan Child Support Formula. Child support attorney Lisa J. Schmidt can help you predict what your child support payment will be and make sure it is calculated properly. She can also help you request changes to an existing child support order if either parent’s financial circumstances change.

Paternity

Before you can ask for custody, parenting time, or child support, you must first identify the legal father of the child. If a child is born to an unmarried woman, her partner at the hospital is usually offered an opportunity to sign an Affidavit of Parentage or an Acknowledgment of Paternity. These legal documents allow the partner to be listed as a second parent on the child’s birth certificate, and grants him the label of “legal father.”

When a child comes home with only one parent on the birth certificate, it is up to the courts to determine who the proper father is. Attorney Lisa J. Schmidt can help you obtain DNA testing and establish your child’s legal paternity. If you are a mother, she can help you get child support from a father who has left the scene. If you are the father, she can help you establish your parental rights and get custody or parenting time with your child.

Revocation of Paternity

Sometimes the wrong person ends up on the birth certificate. In those cases, Attorney Lisa J. Schmidt can help you navigate through Michigan’s complicated Revocation of Paternity Act to set the record straight. But you must act quickly. If you are the mother or biological father of a child with the wrong legal father, you have only 3 years from the child’s birth to file a Revocation of Paternity Complaint. Schmidt was the first to win a Revocation of Paternity action in Wayne County, Michigan, and it has been a key part of her practice ever since. If your child’s family line has a knot in it, hire Attorney Lisa J. Schmidt to untangle it before it is too late.

Get Child Custody Help from Schmidt & Long

Your children are too important to leave to chance. Contact Schmidt & Long, PLLC, in Ferndale, Michigan to schedule a free consultation with experienced custody and paternity lawyer Lisa J. Schmidt. She’ll help you understand the law and fight for your child’s best interests.