In Michigan, child custody is determined by a judge who will award custody to the parent based on what the court believes is in the best interests of the child. If you need representation to best handle your child custody case in the Detroit area, call FasTrack Divorce® Michigan today.
What factors are involved in custody rulings or agreements?
The judge will first decide which parent the child has established a custodial environment. This means the environment the child naturally looks to in order to find guidance, discipline, necessities and parental comfort. Unless there is "clear and convincing" evidence that the best interests of the child are with the other parent, they will usually award custody to the one with whom such an environment exists. They may also decide to grant joint custody, allowing both parents to equally contribute to their child's upbringing.
The judge will take into account the following when awarding custody:
- The love, affection, and other emotional ties existing between the parties and the child
- The ability and disposition of the parties to give the child love, guidance, and education
- The ability and disposition of parties to provide food, clothing, and medical care
- Length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment
- The mental and physical health of the parties involved
- The homes, school, and community record of the child
Depending on the judge's findings, you may be awarded either legal or physical custody of your child. Legal custody refers to the ability to make significant life decisions for your child including health care, education, childcare and general welfare. Physical custody is the actual physical residence of the child.
Resolve Child Custody Matters Today
The bottom line is that you do not want a court determining what is best for your child and your family. It is certainly in your favor to resolve child custody matters beforehand in a child custody agreement with your spouse or former partner. However, if a resolution cannot be reached, you may have to take further legal action.