Ann Arbor Child Custody Lawyers
Michigan law encourages parents involved in a custody dispute to cooperate in creating a custody arrangement that is in their child’s best interests. When parents cannot reach an agreement, the court must intervene and structure a custody order.
At either parent’s request, the court must consider a joint custody arrangement. Joint custody means that both parents will share responsibility for making important decisions related to the child, including decisions regarding education, medical care, religious upbringing, and participation in extracurricular activities. If the court determines that joint custody is not in the child’s best interest, sole custody will be granted to one parent. In making such decisions, the court must take into account many factors, including:
- The relationship between the child and each parent;
- The ability of each parent to provide for the child’s needs;
- The length and quality of the child’s current living situation;
- The family structure offered by each parent;
- Each parent’s physical and mental health, as well as moral fitness;
- The child’s relationships at home, in school, and within the community;
- The child’s wishes, considering the child’s maturity and understanding of the situation;
- The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate the child’s relationship with the other parent; and
- Any history of domestic violence by either parent, including incidents not involving the child.