The Twelve Factors of Child Custody in Michigan

If you are considering divorce in Michigan and you have children, then you have probably wondered how child custody is determined. Child custody can be the single most difficult issue to resolve for anyone going through divorce. While you have many things to worry about and several issues to resolve, most parents are extremely concerned about the well-being of their children over anything else. That can lead to a lot of anxiety and stress. However, there are several factors to be aware of that can help you know what to expect.

There are 12 factors in the state of Michigan that the courts will weigh to determine child custody. There are also several other sub-factors contained within each of these twelve overriding factors. They include but are not limited to:

1 - The love, affection, and other emotional ties existing between the parties involved and the child.

  • With whom does the child feel a greater bond?
  • Which parent spends more hours each day with the child?
  • Which parent does a child seek when he/she has a problem

2 - The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to give the child love, affection, and guidance and to continue the education and raising of the child in his or her religion or creed, if any.

  • Which parent skips work when the child is ill?
  • Which parent disciplines the child?
  • Who is responsible for being involved in school and extracurricular activities?

3 - 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.

  • Who purchases items for the child?
  • Who earns more and who has greater earning potential?
  • Who provides health insurance for the child?

4 - The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment, and the desirability of maintaining continuity.

  • Who provides a safe and secure environment for the child?
  • Who will be able to provide continuity?

5 - The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home or homes.

  • In which parents' custody will the family unit stay in tact?

6 - The moral fitness of the parties involved.

  • Has either parent been involved in extra marital affairs that the child is aware of?
  • Has there been any sexual, physical, or any other kind of abuse in the home?

7 -The mental and physical health of the parties involved.

  • Does either parent suffer from a mental or physical health problem that would prevent them from caring for the child?

8 - The home, school, and community record of the child.

  • Which parent has a greater affect on education and school attendance?
  • Who can make sure that the child still has access to peers and friends?
  • Which parent supervises the child with his/her responsibilities at home?

9 - The reasonable preference of the child, if the court considers the child to be of sufficient age to express preference.

  • If the child is old enough the judge may allow the child to express his/her opinion on with whom he/she lives.

10 - The willingness and ability of each of the parties to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent or the child and the parents.

  • Which parent will cooperate better with a parenting time schedule?
  • Do either or both parents criticize the other parent in front of the child?

11 - Domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against or witnessed by the child.

  • Has any violence occurred in the home involving either parent or the child?
  • Is there any pattern of domestic violence?

12 - Any other factor considered by the court to be relevant to a particular child custody dispute.

  • Which parent can best take care of the child's special needs?

If you are about to go through a divorce and you need help with child custody issues, then you need the assistance of an experienced family law attorney. At the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins in Michigan we can help you with every aspect of your divorce, including child custody. Don't leave this vital issue to just anyone. Fight for your custody rights and make sure you don't miss out on the arrangement you deserve. Contact us online or call is at 248-646-7980.