As a parent going through a divorce in Michigan, you should keep in mind that you, your spouse and the court system all want what is in the best interests of your children. Generally speaking, the law presumes that close contact with both parents is in every child's best interest, and we at Gormley and Johnson Law Offices agree.
Many couples are able to resolve their divorce settlements without litigation through a process of negotiation. If this fails, however, the matter will go to court. In either case, there are steps you can take to improve your chances of gaining joint custody of your children.
We assume that you already have a close relationship with your children, but you should be sure to maintain that relationship even during the divorce process. A reasonable spouse will likely see that continued close contact with you is in your children's best interest. Even if your spouse is not reasonable, the relationship between you and your children is one of the 12 factors that the court takes into consideration when deciding custody arrangements.
According to Verywell Family, one of the most important steps you can take to gain joint custody of your children is to maintain open, non-adversarial communication with your spouse. Be assertive but not aggressive, and instead of looking at custody arrangements as a competition in which one parent stands to win and the other stands to lose, approach the negotiations in a cooperative spirit with the objective of accomplishing the best possible result for your children.
Again, if your spouse is reasonable, he or she will likely be willing to meet you halfway. If not, your willingness to at least attempt good communication with your spouse is likely to make a positive impression on the court if it becomes necessary to litigate the divorce settlement. More information about child custody is available on our website.