Are you having a Michigan custody or parenting time dispute? Changing a custody or parenting time order can be difficult, which is why it is important to contact an experienced attorney as soon as there has been a change in circumstances. Our attorneys have handled many such cases, and we are happy to advocate for a new custody and/or parenting time arrangement on your behalf.
There are two types of custody in Michigan. The first is physical custody, and it can be awarded as sole physical custody, joint physical custody, or as a shared custody arrangement. In addition to physical custody, both parties are usually awarded joint legal custody of their children, which allows them to participate equally in the education, medical, and religious decisions for their children.
If both parents cannot agree upon Michigan custody and parenting time, the “best interests of the child factors” of the Michigan Child Custody Act are what the Court uses to make its decision in granting custody.
If there is not an established custody order, then the court evaluates the best interests of the child factors. If there is an established custody order, then before evaluating the best interests of the child factors, the Court must first find that there has been a change in circumstances. If there has been a change in circumstances, then the best interests of the child will be reviewed by the Court.
The best interests of the child factors to be considered, evaluated, and determined by the Court are found in the Michigan statutes at MCL 722.23 and are as follows:
- 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 to continue the education and raising of the child in his or her 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 considers the child to be of sufficient age to express preference.
- 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.
- Domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against or witnessed by the child.
- Any other factor considered by the court to be relevant to a particular child custody dispute.
Contact our experienced custody and parenting time attorneys at 616-466-4946 today!