Child Custody Act in Michigan
Whether the question of custody arises as a result of divorce, or a child born out of wedlock, the court is guided by the “best interests of the child.” In the matter of divorce, until a divorce is finalized or a court makes a final order as to child custody, both parents have equal rights to the custody of their kids. According to Michigan law, the court has the option to award child custody to either parent, or even both.
Deciding what is in the best interest of the children involves numerous factors and considerations. To understand how the court is likely to view your child custody argument call ADAM 810-244-2326.
How is Custody Determined?
There are many considerations taken into account in this determination. Among the factors considered and evaluated by the court before determining custody are:
- 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 and 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 food, clothing, medical care or other remedial care recognized and permitted under the laws of this state in place of medical care and other material 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 or homes
- 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 reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient age to express preference
- The willingness and ability of each of the parents to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent
- Any other factors considered by the court to be relevant to a particular child custody dispute
Legal Custody vs. Physical Custody
In Michigan, the law distinguishes between legal and physical custody and does not always require the two to go hand-in-hand. The parent awarded legal custody has the right to make decisions about the child’s life, including education, medical treatment and religious upbringing. Physical custody means actually having the child physically present and living with you.
Joint Custody and Sole Custody
Also, in Michigan the law distinguishes between Joint Custody and Sole Custody. When a parent is awarded the sole physical and sole legal custody of the child, this means that the other parent has no legal right to make parental decisions regarding the child’s upbringing nor do they have the right to have the child with him or her. However, they may exercise a parenting time schedule.
Joint custody on the other hand, can mean different things in different situations. Generally, a joint custody arrangement allows both parents to share legal and physical custody of their children, where both parties are involved in the decision making for their children and typically share equal time with their children.
Call ADAM to see how the Child Custody Act applies to your family circumstances and how we might best represent your interests.
Parenting Time and Visitation
Parenting time is generally granted to the non-custodial parent and each county has its own guidelines. No matter the situation with the other parent, your children need you now perhaps more than ever. It is imperative that you talk to ADAM to maximize the role you have in your children’s lives.
- Parenting time, as ordered by the court, may be as specific or as general as you and the other parent can agree.
- Parenting time is dependent on a number of issues, including parental work schedules, children’s ages, living distance between parents, school schedules and extracurricular activities, holidays and summer vacations.
- Individual county guidelines governing parenting time and its allocation can be accessed through Friend of the Court.
Michigan Paternity Law
Fathers have rights too! Are you accused of shirking your parental responsibilities? Are you questioning whether or not you are the biological father of a child? Is the mother of your child refusing to allow visitation? Are you seeking custody of your child or children? You need an experienced family law attorney from ADAM to fight for your rights. We understand the unfair bias fathers receive in court. We have strategies that work to level the playing field and get you the results you’re looking for.
In general, a father has the same right to full custody of a child as the child’s mother. Men technically don’t face greater challenges when trying to achieve full custody. However, the man has historically been the "breadwinner" in American families. If a man has a highly demanding work schedule and the child is not yet school-aged, a family court may worry that the father will not have enough time to manage full custody of the child…
Before you take action, call ADAM 810-244-2326. We will review your case and provide you with solid legal advice on what steps you need to take in the Michigan family court.