The best interests of a child is the standard a Michigan Court will apply to the facts of any custody dispute between parents, agencies, and/or other third parties. There are two levels of custody in Michigan: legal custody and physical custody. Physical custody reflects the amount of time the child resides with each parent, and legal custody refers to decision making authority on important decisions affecting the child’s welfare. When determining what is in the best interests of a child, the Court will consider the following:
- The love, affection, and other emotional ties existing between the parties and the child;
- The capacity of the parties to give the child love, affection, and guidance and to continue the education and raising of the child his religion, if any;
- The capacity and disposition of the parties to provide the child with food, clothing, and medical care;
- The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining that environment;
- The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home;
- The moral fitness of the parties;
- The mental and physical health of the parties;
- The home, school, and community record of the child;
- The reasonable preference of the child, if the child is old enough to express such a preference;
- The willingness and ability of the parties to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent;
- Domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against or witnessed by the child;
- Any other factor that the court deems relevant to a particular custody dispute.
Regardless of your present circumstances, you can rely on our innovative attorneys to draw from their decades of experience to tailor the most persuasive arguments to protect your parental rights and to provide zealous advocacy with regard to your children’s best interests.