Divorcing parents have many worries and concerns. These may be especially pronounced when it comes to child custody issues. As commendable as it is for Michigan laws to consider the best interests of the child, this somewhat vague term can include various factors, any of which can greatly influence the outcome of a case.
The court will likely consider the behavior of the parents when determining custody, including evidence of domestic abuse and/or mental health issues. For example, is one parent unwilling to cooperate with the other for the sake of the child? Does the lifestyle of one parent suggest questionable morality? Will one parent have difficulty providing for the basic needs of the child?
Some of the fundamental considerations a judge may examine include whether the child is already well established in one parent's home. If the child has lived in the loving, stable home of one parent for some length of time, attended school and established friendships, the court is not likely to uproot the child unless there is good reason. In some cases, particularly if the child is older than 12 years, the judge may take the child's preference under advisement.
Child custody disputes may arise early in divorce proceedings, or they may arise well after a settlement has been reached. Changes in the parents' circumstances could require a modification of custody orders. For example, a parent who wishes relocate must do so in conformance with Michigan's custody laws. Seeking help from an attorney in these situations is highly recommended.
Source: thespruce.com, "Get to Know Child Custody Laws in Michigan", Debrina Washington, Accessed on Nov. 25, 2017