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William J. Reisdorf, P.C. – Family Law Attorney

office:  248-689-6996
mobile:  248-766-4484
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Fathers: Do You Have a Good Custody Case?

Take the Custody Quiz!


by William J Reisdorf, JD

your Michigan Father’s Custody Attorney


Many men in Michigan don’t understand how to rate their chances in court if they wound up in a custody battle. In Michigan, the judge evaluates custody contests by way of certain factors under the Custody Act. A parent’s closeness and day to day involvement with the children is the main key to a determination by the Court as to who might receive an award of primary custody. If you are a Dad, it's important to know the rules and the parameters of the custody law.


Here is a quick “TRUE-FALSE" test to see if you recognize a strong set of facts which would support a favorable award for a Michigan Father seeking custody. Try your luck: The answers are below.


STATEMENT: Father has a good case for at least joint (equal) custody, if not primary custody in the following situations, if he obtains a good experienced Michigan Custody Attorney.




1)     Father works full time, is at home every night, rarely works overtime, participates regularly in his two boys' scouting activities, and helps coach both of his boys’ sports. Mother works full time also, and goes to all school conferences with father and she helps the kids with their homework.


Father has a good case: T or F?


2)     Father works full time, is at home every night, but does not participate in extracurricular activities with the children, nor attend school activities nor attend conferences, but he has no history of violence, no addictive habits and gets along well with his children. Mother is a stay at home mom and has been so for eight years. She takes the three children to and from school every day.


Father has a good case: T or F?


3)     Father and Mother have never been married, but have a 3-year-old child. The parents have always lived together and on day one when Mom goes to court for the first time for support, they still live together. Mom works part time and Dad works full time. Both parties share in bathing, feeding, dressing and putting the child to bed.


Father has a good case: T or F?


4)     Father has always been a decent Dad to his two children, age 8 and 10. There is no history of violence or bad habits such as alcohol abuse, but Father moved out eight months ago. Mom works and has been caring for the kids and getting them to school every day. Dad works full time as an engineer for a big three auto company. He has been seeing his kids every other weekend. He sends Mom $100 a month on his own. He wants joint custody and parenting time 2-3 times a week.


Father has a good case: T or F ?


5)     Father and Mother are not married, and live separately since their two year old child has been born. Both work full time. Father has worked out a specific schedule of parenting time for 18 months. He sees his two year old daughter twice overnight one week, then three overnights the next week. He writes each visit on his calendar.


Father has a good case:  T or F ?




#1) The answer is True. The thing that gives this father “equal footing “ is the fact that not only is he closely involved with his children, but his wife also works, so she is no more involved time wise than he is. 2) This answer is False. Unfortunately, the current law we have weighs heavily in favor of a parent who is a “stay at home” parent . Truthfully, the stay at home parent is less frequently seen. What can you do, Dad? If you are not closely involved with your kids, then start now, especially if you are not yet starting a custody contest. 3) True. Even in conservative courts where judges treat men who don’t marry like third class citizens, “possession is nine tenths of the law" in custody matters. What a Father seeking custody should do is call a custody attorney and get a temporary custody order, while he still lives under the same roof as his children. Very important. 4) False. This dad hurt his case by moving out. And paying only $100 a month while earning an engineer’s salary isn’t going to help. 5) True. Even though this father is not married and living separately, he has a parenting schedule in the works and he keeps track. This will make a good case for joint custody.


I am personally opposed to the current law which rewards a parent who might spend 5% more time with the child than the other. I believe in the benefit of sharing custody so long as both parents are decent individuals. The trick is to maximize your case facts with those portions of the law that will help you. Even if you want a better custody law, we are stuck with the one we have. Thus, you need an experienced custody attorney who can maximize your case and develop strategies so you can have a decent and successful custody plan which will be good for you and your kids!     



Questions? Call Bill Reisdorf, your experienced Michigan Father’s Custody Attorney. (248) 766-4484 for a free analysis. Let us make the law work for you!



Representing fathers and mothers in divorce, child custody, parenting time (visitation), child support, spousal support, and other family law matters in Oakland, Wayne, and Macomb County, Michigan