Throughout most divorces, there are many different issues that will need to be resolved by the court, but child custody is often the topic that receives the most attention and causes the most tension. Determining exactly how a divorce will affect the children is rarely easy, and having a family lawyer on your side throughout the proceedings can be invaluable for both practical and emotional reasons.


To help you get a basic understanding of how child custody works inside a Michigan courtroom, we’ve answered three commonly asked questions below. We expect that this article will not answer every question that you have, which is why we offer a free telephone consultation.

At the Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C., we have more than 38 years of experience with family law, so you can rely on us to give you sound legal advice concerning any aspect of your divorce. To start your consultation, Call Us At 517-487-6603 Today!

1. If I Have Shared Custody, Can I Still Get Child Support?

Yes. According to the American Bar Association, if your income is significantly less than your ex-spouse’s or you have primary custody and incur more expenses because of it, the court may determine that you should receive support. Joint legal custody generally has little effect on child support, but joint physical custody does.

Even if the child stays with one parent for an extended period of time, during summer vacation for instance, the other parent may still be responsible for making a full support payment.

2. Can I Move Out Of State If I Have Joint Custody?

Each state has a different set of laws that govern a custodial parent’s right to relocate. In Michigan, a parent who has been granted either visitation or joint custody must gain permission from a judge before moving out of state or more than 100 miles away from the other parent.

This does not apply when the parents were living 100 miles apart when the custody agreement was made, when one parent was granted sole custody or when both parents agree to the move.

3. Can A Child-Custody Order Be Modified?

A judge will amend a custody order only if you can prove that something has changed in the child’s life that necessitates a modification. For instance, if a child is seriously injured or develops a disability, the current custody order may not reflect the child’s best interests anymore.

In most cases, custody orders change when one parent becomes worried about an adjustment in the other parent’s living environment. For instance, if a parent loses their job or home, the other parent may worry that the child is not being adequately cared for.


At the Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C., we are guided by the principle that every client deserves a high level of individual attention and respect. We will never judge you or neglect to give your case the attention it needs to be successful. To talk to a family lawyer in Michigan, Call Us At 517-487-6603 eToday!

3 Child-Custody FAQs