Determining The Child’s Best Interest Through A Custody Arrangement
When it comes to child custody, child support or juvenile law, the best interests of the child are at the heart of the law. Whether parents are married or unmarried, they are responsible for caring for children that they brought into the world or adopted.
What factors determine custody in Michigan?
While the courts ultimately have the right to determine what specific factors are of relevance to a particular custody dispute, some of the most important factors that Michigan child custody cases feature include the following:
- The love, affection and other emotional ties existing between the parties involved and the child.
- The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to give the child love, affection and guidance.
- the continuation of the educating and raising of the child in its religion or creed, if any.
- The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to provide the child with clothing, medical care, food and other remedial care recognized and permitted under the laws of this state in place of medical care, and other needs.
- The length of time the child has lived in a stable satisfactory environment, and the desirability of maintaining continuity.
- The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home. The moral fitness of the parties involved.
- The mental and physical health of the parties involved.
- The home, school and community record of the child.
- The willingness and ability of each of the parents to facilitate and encourage close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent.
- Any history of domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against, or witnessed, by the child.
The Types Of Child Custody In Michigan
In Michigan, there are two main aspects of child custody that need to be considered by parents in a divorce: legal custody of the child and physical custody of the child and/or children.
In order to ensure that the best interests of your children are protected, it is important to understand the types of custody and how they could impact your relationship with your kids. At Marrs & Terry, PLLC, our experienced child custody attorneys can help you understand your rights and guide you through the process of custody.
Legal Vs. Physical Child Custody: A Brief Explanation
Legal custody enables parents to make choices for their child, including decisions about religion, education and medical care. Physical custody impacts with which parent the child will actually live and reside with.
Physical custody, on the other hand, can be designated as primary custody with one parent and parenting time with the other parent; or as joint physical custody, where time is split 50/50 between both parents. Courts will look to determine what is in the best interests of the children in every case.
What is the standard child custody arrangement for Michigan?
In Michigan, joint legal custody (also known as 50 50 custody) is the default child custody status and is meant to foster a relationship between a child and both parents. This entitles both parents to make important choices for their children. Unless there is a compelling reason why one parent should not have legal custody, such as being an unfit parent, joint legal custody is preferred by family courts.
As with other aspects of divorce, if parents can come to their own agreement regarding custody and parenting time, the process will be less costly and the outcome will generally be more favorable for both parties.
Our Approach To Custody Matters
When family law attorneys of Marrs & Terry, PLLC, represent clients of the law firm in child custody matters, we begin by going through the relevance of these factors to the clients’ family circumstances. As advocates in family law court, our goal is to be able to present to the court how our clients’ interaction with their children are applicable to these best-interest factors.
What will this mean to your family? Your parental rights? Your children’s well-being? Contact us to learn what we can do to position you and your children for the best attainable outcome given your family circumstances. Your solution may look like one or more of these scenarios:
- Sole physical custody for you or the other parent
- Sole legal custody for you or the other parent
- Joint legal and/or physical custody
- Grandparent custody or visitation
We find that the best solutions usually come from parents themselves. For this reason, we encourage and promote mediation as the preferred means of conflict resolution in many cases. During your divorce, you and your spouse may arrange for joint custody in the family home, with the two of you working opposite shifts. This is just one example of a creative, constructive solution to the problem of child custody during and after your Michigan divorce or separation.
Family Law Issues Affect Your Whole Life. Contact Us For Guidance You Can Depend On.
Family law attorneys of Marrs & Terry, PLLC, are available to advise you on your custody rights and other legal issues that may or may not be affected by family restructuring, including parenting time, divorce, and separation.
If during the course of your family law matter, child custody issue, and/or any family law issues you encounter overwhelming financial hardship, please know we are also available for bankruptcy and foreclosure cases.