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Child Custody

Dedicated Michigan Attorney Helps Parents Set Fair Child Custody Terms

Proven Sterling Heights lawyer handles custody negotiations and litigation

Parents who divorce usually both want what’s best for their sons and daughters, but custody issues can quickly become contentious. At my Sterling Heights firm, Dawson Family Law, PLLC, I draw upon more than 40 years of legal experience to find creative solutions to parenting conflicts that arise during a divorce. Child custody, more than any other divorce issue, requires couples to collaborate years after litigation ends, so I am focused on establishing fair terms through negotiation and mediation whenever possible. If it is not possible to establish suitable arrangements through consensus, I will prepare a comprehensive argument to bring before the court to protect your parental rights.

Established Macomb County firm advises on legal authority and residence

Under the Michigan Child Custody Act, judges can use any relevant factors when making a custody determination, but several are specifically mentioned in the statute, such as parental fitness, maintaining a stable environment for the child, and each parent’s willingness to cooperate with the other. If a child is of sufficient age, their preference can be taken into account as well. There are three main aspects of a post-divorce parenting arrangement:

  • Legal custody — Decision-making authority is often granted jointly to both parents during custody proceedings. This means that each has the ability to handle legal matters as well as important educational and religious choices. If a substance abuse problem or some other disability prevents your co-parent from making safe choices, I can seek an order that protects your son or daughter.
  • Physical custody — Often, it is best for one parent to have sole residential custody while granting substantial parenting time to the other. This can help a child build or maintain strong ties to a community and school.
  • Parenting time —Parenting time refers to the legal guidelines put in place to ensure that a child can maintain frequent, meaningful contact with both parents. Regardless of the complications or acrimony that exists between parents, my firm looks to create fair, clear terms that address matters such as holiday visits and transportation between homes.

I know that each child custody determination is unique, so I am committed to learning every important detail about the physical, educational, social and emotional needs of young people who are the subjects of these proceedings. Starting with a free initial consultation, I’ll develop a strategy that is tailored to your child’s situation.

Litigator works to secure custody modifications when circumstances change

Custody and parenting time orders are supposed to establish a reliable routine that helps sons and daughters overcome the turmoil associated with their parents’ divorce. However, sometimes a significant change such as a new job or ailing relative makes it extremely difficult to honor the terms that were originally set. This can be particularly difficult if a parent is required to move to a distant location. With more than four decades of legal experience, I counsel parents on whether a change is significant enough to convince a court that modification is necessary. By taking a comprehensive approach that analyzes the needs of children and parents, my firm makes a strong argument for the results that my clients seek.

Contact an effective Macomb County child custody lawyer for a free consultation

Dawson Family Law, PLLC advises Michigan clients on child custody issues and other family law matters. To make an appointment for a free initial consultation at my Sterling Heights office, please call 833-671-4445 or contact me online.

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Office Location
  • Sterling Heights Office
    43805 Van Dyke Avenue
    Sterling Heights, Michigan 48314
    Phone: 586-731-7400
    Fax: 586-731-6370
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  • "Dave Dawson was very helpful and informative. He is a no nonsense kind of attorney that gets results. I would recommend to a friend."  --J.L.

  • "Mr. Dawson, Brilliant work! Yesterday I still couldn’t believe you actually brought me back to life and thinking back how you did your best – brilliant – thank you!"  --Holger K.

  • "Dear David, Thanks so much for everything! You have done so much for me these last couple of months! I am eternally grateful."  --Ryann M.

  • "David, I really appreciate being able to refer clients who can benefit from your knowledge and experience. Thank you,"  --Jon Corbin