In making child custody decisions, Michigan courts are bound to utilize the best interests of the child standard. In applying this standard, the court looks at where the child would thrive both physically and emotionally. Child custody is not about the parents and their needs and wants. Child custody decisions are based on the needs and wants of the child, and the court attempt to do everything it can to guard and protect the child when making this type of decision. It makes sense for a judge to devote a great deal care to this type of decision, because where a child is placed is extremely important to both the child’s future development and his or her overall wellbeing.
Child custody decisions can be unorthodox if the situation calls for an outside-of-the-box kind of approach. For instance, Charlie Sheen, who is a famous actor, has agreed to have his twin sons placed with his ex-wife, Denise Richards, another actress. Because the mother of the boys is not in a position to care for the children at this time, Sheen is on board with custody of his sons being given to his ex-wife, who is the mother of two of his other children. Seemingly, this is not how child custody normally works, with a third party taking custody, but again if this is in the best interest of the children, it can be deemed okay by the court under certain circumstances.
In using the best interests of the child standard, the court looks at both sole custody and joint custody. Visitation, possible relocation, relationships with the children are all a part of factors a judge will consider when making child custody determinations.
Courts do not take the placement of a child lightly. However, with that being said, once a custody decision is made, that decision can always be revisited if future developments in the child’s life indicate that the court should take another look at its determination..
In all these cases, the child’s best interests are paramount. Moreover, because a court will have considerable discretion in these types of cases, it is very important for a parent seeking custody to put forward all of his or her best arguments during the custody hearing..
Source: The Inquistr, “Denise Richards refuses extra child support for Charlie Sheen’s twins,” May 13, 2013