Lawyers & Attorneys
in Grand Rapids, MI
Family law is an area of the law that deals with family matters and domestic relations, including divorce but not just limited to a divorce proceeding. Family law usually applies to domestic issues when the parties involved were never married or are no longer married but still have child related issues or post judgment matters that need to be addressed in Court such as the following:
The Grand Rapids family law attorneys at Gordon & Hess, P.L.C. are experienced in all of these areas and have handled complex family law matters in Grand Rapids, Grand Haven, Holland, Muskegon, White Cloud, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Allegan, Van Buren, Hastings, Stanton, and Ionia as well as in other cities throughout West Michigan. Our lawyers can help you.
Questions of Paternity and Child Support
If you are an unmarried parent, one of the most important questions you’ll ask before your child is born and after your child is born is how to establish paternity. In Michigan there are several ways to establish paternity. Paternity establishes a man as a child’s legal father. According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, both parents can voluntarily establish paternity by:
• Establishing paternity at the hospital, during birth, if the father voluntarily chooses to be added to the birth record
• At the Department of Human Services
• At the Registrar’s Office
• Or, by completing an Affidavit of Parentage form
In some cases, paternity must be established in court. Establishing paternity is important because it guarantees the mother and the child the right to receive child support. It is also generally psychologically beneficial for children to have a relationship with both parents. However, in cases where the father is unknown, or DNA testing must be performed, or where there is a dispute about child support amounts, having a Grand Rapids family law attorney or lawyer on your side in Grand Rapids, Michigan can be beneficial. In some cases, information about the father must be provided to the court. Your ability to remain on public assistance can be compromised if you don’t provide this information. There are cases where it may be necessary to determine the net worth of the father to establish a fair child support amount. While in many instances this isn’t difficult, there are times where this can become more complex, particularly if the father holds many assets. Because paternity questions can sometimes get complex, it can be helpful to speak to the Grand Rapids family law attorneys at Gordon & Hess, P.L.C. if you have questions.
Custody and Parenting Time
Child custody matters can be emotionally stressful for families. The courts generally recognize the rights of both parents to maintain a relationship and custody of their children. However, decisions about physical custody need to be made when parents are not married, are separated, or are getting divorced. Generally, parents will make decisions about legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to both parents’ rights to make decisions for their children. Physical custody refers to where a child will reside. Courts generally award legal custody to both parents and physical custody to one parent. If you have questions about a custody battle or need answers about how to develop a parenting plan that will be approved by the court in Grand Rapids, Michigan, contact Gordon & Hess, P.L.C. today. Our Grand Rapids custody lawyers can help you find the answers that work for your family.
Family Law Lawyers and Attorneys in Grand Rapids Michigan to Help You Navigate the Questions that Arise
When facing a difficult family law matter it is important that you retain an experienced family law professional that understands the issues, the law and can aggressively and effectively advocate on your behalf to protect your rights and the rights of your family. If you need a Family Law attorney in Grand Rapids or anywhere in West Michigan contact Gordon & Hess, P.L.C.
Please contact Gordon & Hess, P.L.C now and schedule a free ½ hour confidential consultation to meet face to face and discuss the family law issue you are or soon may be facing and to discuss the best course of action and start develop a winning game plan from the start.