Getting child custody matters right during a Michigan divorce can be complicated. Parents must focus on their own needs and those of their children as they unravel their family webs and set up independent lives. It can be hard for individuals in these difficult circumstances to understand what rights they have to advocate for their children’s post-divorce needs.
A trusted family law attorney can make a difference for a parent who has child custody concerns. Their legal advocate can explain to them the factors that courts consider when deciding how to establish parenting time and custody plans. This post will briefly introduce some of those factors, but as with all of the posts on this blog, no reader should rely on the information contained herein as legal advice.
Factors relevant to children’s best interests
Like other courts throughout the nation, Michigan courts attempt to protect kids’ best interests in their child custody determinations. Doing so requires courts to evaluate factors relevant to the children, their parents, and their living situations. Those factors include but are not limited to:
- The moral, mental, and physical health of the parents
- The stability and proximity of the parents’ homes
- The child’s home, school, and medical history
- The presence of domestic violence in the family
- The willingness of the parents to work together to raise their child
Every child is different and may benefit from a different parenting and custody plan. As such, courts look at individual children to make individual custody determinations.
Child custody outcomes
Once a court has evaluated the many factors relevant to the child custody case before it, it will decide what rights the parents will retain following their divorce. Parents can be granted joint or sole custody in the arenas of legal and physical custody. Legal custody gives a parent the right to be involved in making decisions about their child’s care. Physical custody gives a parent the right to have their child live with them.
Child custody matters involve big decisions and big considerations. Parents do not have to face these difficult issues alone. Their family law attorneys can advise and support them as they work to build new lives with their kids after their divorces.