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Michigan Child Custody
Child Custody in Michigan

According to the Michigan Revised Statutes Section: 552.391, "[j]oint custody is encouraged. However, in disputed child custody situations, custody placement will be determined based on best interests of the child factors." In Michigan, courts encourage parents to reach an agreement on child custody. However, in the event that parents were unable to agree, the court steps in to decide child custody, support, and visitation issues.

Michigan determines child custody based on the best interests of the child. The courts try to minimize the emotional impact of divorce on children.

In resolving custody issues, the court bases their decision in accordance with the best interests of the child. Under child custody laws in Michigan, joint custody is seen as practical and desirable since this is crucial in a continuing parent-child relationship even after divorce. Joint custody may not, however, always be feasible in situations where the welfare of the child is jeopardized with one of the parents.

Child custody laws prohibit the court to presume a custody arrangement over another without carefully weighing the following factors:

  • the existence of love, affection, and other emotional ties between parents and child;
  • the child's wishes or preferences, provided he or she is mature enough to make such declarations;
  • the child's adjustment to his or her home, school, and community;
  • the length of time in which the child has lived in a stable and supportive environment and whether or not the parents express willingness to maintain such constructive environment for the child's welfare;
  • the parents' willingness to facilitate and encourage a close, meaningful, and continuing relationship between the child and the other parent;
  • the parents' capacity to provide for the child's basic needs such as medical care, education, food, clothing, religious training;
  • the mental or physical health of the parties involved in the proceedings;
  • the moral fitness of the parties involved in the proceedings; and
  • any history of domestic violence, child abuse, or negligence.

Mandatory Parenting Class

Michigan courts often require all divorcing parents with minor children to complete a mandatory parenting class before granting a divorce. This requirement is designed to help parents and children deal with the trauma of divorce and separation. Unless the court grants a waiver, both parents must typically complete this requirement. Rather than give up an afternoon or evening taking your course in a crowded classroom, you can fulfill this requirement conveniently online at a very reasonable cost. We recommend you take Children in Between Online" to fulfill your court requirement and for the benefit of your children.

Joint Custody Preference

Michigan law expresses a preference for parents to share as equally as possible in the custody of a child in a divorce case. Joint custody, when possible, is seen a practical and desirable since this is crucial in a continuing parent-child relationship even after divorce; however, it may be practical when the welfare of the child is jeopardized by one parent.

Joint custody may be not always be awarded in cases where the child's well-being is at risk with one of the parents.

Parental Conduct

In addition to finding a parent unfit because of substance abuse, or abuse or neglect towards a child, the courts also consider the conduct of both parents during the course of the marriage, and the impact of parental behavior on the child.

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