Maintaining a strong relationship with one’s child can be a challenge when divorce and custody concerns impact Michigan families. In order for a parent to have an impact on their child’s life following a divorce or separation they may have to fight for their parental rights to maintain involvement and contact with their kids. This post will address some of the factors that Michigan courts use to assess and determine how child custody matters are resolved but no part of this post should be interpreted as legal advice or guidance.
It is important to remember, though, that in some cases parents may be able to work out their own child custody agreements without resorting to court mandates. Whether a court makes a custody decision or the parties to a custody hearing create their own agreement, the controlling plan for a child’s custody must meet that child’s interests and needs.
To accomplish these ends, factors related to the parents’ abilities to provide for their kids must be assessed. For example, certain questions may be asked to decide if a parent should have custody of their child and may include the following:
- Can the parent provide for the child’s physical needs in terms of shelter, food, and clothing?
- Can the parent provide for the child’s emotional needs and provide them with love and support?
- Can the parent help enable the relationship between their child and the other parent?
Certain needs and requirement of the child may also be important to the assessment of how their custody should be determined. As every child is different, parents and courts must look at the unique circumstances that their children live with in order to evaluate how best to address their custodial requirements. Questions that may help parents and courts make these evaluations could involve:
- Does child have a preference of which parent they wish to live with and are they capable of forming a reasonable preference?
- Is there information in the child’s educational or medical record that indicates that one parent may better serve the child’s everyday needs?
- Has the child even been subject to the abuse of one of their parents?
Child custody in Michigan can be given to one parent in a sole custody arrangement or may be granted to both parents in a joint arrangement. The questions and factors discussed in this post are not comprehensive of all considerations that may be made in specific child custody cases and readers are asked to always talk to their divorce or family law attorneys about how their child custody disputes may be resolved.