CHILD CUSTODY – Michigan divides child custody into two areas. The law provides for (1) legal custody and (2) physical custody. Typically one party is not awarded sole legal custody. Joint legal custody is very typical. Joint legal custody provides that both parties shall discuss and decide major issues in the child’s life (i.e. medical treatment, school choice, sports, etc…). Second there is physical custody. Physical custody is when the child is primarily residing. For example you can have equal time and have joint physical custody. To determine custody, Michigan law provides factors for the court to consider what is in “the best interests of the child”.
Michigan law states that the best interest of the child means the sum total of the following factors to be considered, evaluated, and determined by the court. These factors are his follows:
a. The love and affection and other emotional ties between the parties involved and the child.
b. Capacity and disposition of the parties involved to give the child love, affection, and guidance and continuation of the educating and raising of a child in a particular religion or creed.
c. Capacity and disposition of the parties involved to provide the child with the necessities of life.
d. The length of time the child has lived in a stable and satisfactory environment.
e. The performance, as a family unit, or the existence or proposed custodial home.
f. The moral fitness of the parties.
g. The mental and physical health of the parties.
h. The home, school, and community record of the child.
i. The reasonable preference of the child, if the court determines the child is of sufficient age to express a preference.
j. The willingness and abilities of each party to facilitate encourage a continuing relationship between child and the other parent.
k. Domestic violence.
l. Any other factors that the court considered to be relevant in a particular case.
The determination as to an award of custody is to be made in the child’s best interest, as measured by the factors above in MCL 722.23; MSA 25.312(3). Fletcher v Fletcher, 447 Mich 871, 881; 526 NW2d 889 (1994); Daniels v Daniels, 165 Mich App 726, 730; 418 NW2d 924 (1988). In making a custody determination, the trial court must make findings of fact as to each of these factors. Foskett v Foskett, 247 Mich App 1, 9; 634 NW2d 363 (2001). The trial court is not required to give each factor equal weight; rather, the overwhelmingly predominant factor in each case is the welfare of the child. Winn v Winn,234 Mich App 255, 263; 593 NW2d 662 (1995).
ESTABLISHED CUSTODIAL ENVIORNMENT– If one of the parties has an established a custodial environment for a child then it is the burden of the noncustodial parent to establish, by clear and convincing evidence, that child custody should be changed. This is an extremely difficult burden. If neither or both parties have established a custodial environment then the court will award custody based upon the best interest of the child.
AGE OF THE CHILD- The preference of a child becomes more and more of an important factor as the child gets older. Generally, the court will start considering a child’s preference at age 8 and will give their preference great consideration at age 14 or 15.
PARENTING TIME- To determine Parenting time, the court is also to consider the best interest of the child in determining a schedule. The court will consider the work schedules, school schedule, age of the child, and abilities of the parents to determine a schedule that fosters a good relationship between the month and father.
If you are facing a child custody or parenting time dispute, a good child custody attorney is a requirement! Our child custody attorneys can answer your questions with straight talk about your options and chances of prevailing. Having the right attorney on your side can relieve your stress during this difficult situation. Krupp Law Offices has over 95 years of divorce experience. Our attorneys have extensive child custody and parenting time trial experience. Typical fees to retain attorney for a child custody or parenting time case can range and from as little as 1,500 dollars to as high as 10,000 dollars. Considering the seriousness of this life changing event, it is extremely important to retain the services of an experienced attorney in the area of child custody.
Krupp Law Offices P.C. is located in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan and has the right divorce attorney for you. We represent clients in all divorce matters throughout West Michigan, , including the cities of Grand Rapids, Big Rapids, Ionia, Grand Haven, Stanton, Greenville, Wayland, Allegan, Holland, Newaygo, White Cloud, Fremont, Coopersville, Hastings, Middleville, Wyoming, and Rockford including Kent County, Ottawa County, Newaygo County, Ionia County, Mecosta County, Barry County, Montcalm County, and Allegan County Michigan.