Michigan courts look to the best interest of the child when making decisions as to child custody. This standard is applied in almost all jurisdictions as a measuring stick for child custody decisions. The standard looks at many factors, including the parental relationship with children involved in the child custody dispute. The court’s decision can always be revisited as circumstances change.
There is a growing trend in which fathers are demanding and receiving child custody rights. Historically, the courts viewed mothers as the preferred choice in child custody matters. Mothers would often seek sole custody of the children and be granted it with little to no argument from the father. Times are changing, however, and fathers are now increasingly seeking and receiving legal and physical custody of their children. Gone are the days where fathers were rarely given full custodial rights.
There are a number of different types of custody orders that a Michigan court can issue in child custody cases. For instance, a court can award either sole custody or joint custody. Sole custody is when one parent has total and complete custody of the children; whereas joint custody is when both parents share custody. A distinction is also made between physical custody and legal custody. Legal custody determines which parent or parents will make major decisions regarding the child’s upbringing, such as educational decisions, health care decisions, and the like. Physical custody determines which parent or parents the child lives with.
Child custody matters are important matters for the courts and for the families involved. An experienced Michigan family law attorney can help fathers assert their rights to custody of their children.
Source: Detroit Free Press, “More dads demand equal custody rights, reject child-support arrangements of yesterday,” Sharon Jayson, June 14, 2014