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How is Child Custody Determined?

By Iafrate & Salassa

a small girl laughing with parents, concept of Child Custody Lawyer Birmingham.

Courts in Michigan determine child custody by focusing on the best interests of the child, and a variety of factors outlined under Michigan law. It is important for parents to know that the court can look at many different factors when deciding whether a parent should have sole custody or the parents should share joint custody, and what type of parenting time arrangement is appropriate given the circumstances and family dynamics. In some cases, courts will consider the behavior or history of parties other than the parents who reside with one of the parents or would be likely to influence the child’s life if one of the parents has custody or parenting time. To be clear, child custody is determined on a case-by-case basis, and courts make decisions about child custody based on the specific issues and experiences of a particular child and the parents.

The following information can help to clarify the “best interests of the child” factors that Michigan courts tend to focus on when deciding how to award child custody.

What is in the Best Interests of the Child in a Custody Case?

Courts in Michigan that determine child custody, including sole or joint custody and parenting time, will consider many different factors that are outlined in the Michigan Child Custody Act of 1970. Some of those factors cited are as follows:

  • The emotional ties existing between parents and child;
  • The capacity and disposition of the parents to care for the child moving forward; 
  • The stability of the home environment and whether it would benefit the child to remain there; 
  • The mental and physical health of the parents; 
  • The reasonable preference of the child, if the child is old enough to express it; 
  • Any past history of domestic violence;

Contact a Child Custody Attorney in Michigan

If you are anticipating a child custody dispute, or if you need assistance with a child custody case, one of our Michigan child custody attorneys can assist you. Contact Iafrate & Salassa, P.C. to learn more about our services.

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