Child custody is an important concern for any divorcing parent. For that reason, it is helpful for parents going through the child custody process to be familiar with how child custody is determined and how the family law process can help them arrive at a child custody arrangement that is best for their child.
Child custody factors used in Michigan
Child custody is determined based on what is in the best interests of the child which means that the family law court seeks to develop a child custody arrangement that is best for the child’s overall well-being and safety. A variety of factors are used to help determine what is best for the child including:
- The love, affection and emotional ties between the parents and the child;
- The capacity and inclination of the parents to provide love, affection and guidance for the child;
- The capacity and inclination of the parents to provide continuity concerning the child’s education and religious training;
- The capacity and inclination of the parents to provide the child with food, clothing, care and necessities;
- The length of time the child has lived in a safe and stable environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity in that safe and stable environment;
- The permanence of an existing or proposed home for the child;
- The home, school and community record for the child;
- The moral fitness of the parents;
- The mental and physical health of the parents;
- The reasonable preference of the child depending on the child’s age;
- The willingness of the parents to facilitate and encourage a close relationship between the child and the other parent;
- Any history of domestic violence or abuse; and
- Any other factors the family law court considers relevant.
How the family law court looks at these factors
The list of factors that may be evaluated by the family law court is long in order to help ensure a child custody arrangement that is in the child’s best interest. Given that, it is helpful for parents to be familiar with what those factors are so that everyone is on the same page as they seek to develop a child custody arrangement that benefits the child.