GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOOD) – When a couple decides to separate or divorce there can be a lot of questions about custody and parenting. Attorney Matthew DeLange of the Michigan Family Law Center joined eightWest to explain more about this topic.

Historically it was common for a non-custodial parent of a young child to only be awarded a few hours of parenting time once or twice per week. This was due to a few early studies that focused on attachment theory. However, current studies have shown that a young child is able to form attachments to more than one caregiver. Current research favors schedules that allow for more frequent contact and contact that allows both parents to take part in the caregiving. You have the right to custody and parenting time determination in a paternity/support case brought by the prosecutor’s office.

Keep in mind, transitions are difficult on children, so try to do exchanges via daycare or preschool. When deciding on custody, think long term. Try to develop a schedule that will naturally change as the child develops and their needs change.