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Michigan Child Custody Factors

In Michigan, when establishing a child custody order, the court will act in the best interests of the children and consider the following factors:

(1) The love, affection, and other emotional ties existing between the parties involved and the child.

(2) The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to give the child love, affection, and guidance and to continue the education and raising of the child in his or her religion or creed, if any.

(3) The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care or other remedial care recognized and permitted under the laws of this state in place of medical care, and other material needs.

(4) The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment, and the desirability of maintaining continuity.

(5) The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home or homes.

(6) The moral fitness of the parties involved.

(7) The mental and physical health of the parties involved.

(8) The home, school, and community record of the child.

(9) The reasonable preference of the child, if the court considers the child to be of sufficient age to express preference.

(10) The willingness and ability of each of the parties to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent or the child and the parents.

(11) Domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against or witnessed by the child.

(12) Any other factor considered by the court to be relevant to a particular child custody dispute. (Michigan Compiled Laws - Section: 552.16 and 722.23)

In Michigan, as with all other states, the court will always be looking out for the best interests of the children. What you want or your spouse wants is not really relevant until the court says it is. Many parents go to custody hearings not realizing that they must portray themselves as the best custodial parent rather pleading to the court that they simply deserve the children. The court would much prefer the parents to decide who should have custody, but if they canít, the court will do it for them. You can also read more about Michigan child custody in the Michigan state statutes located at: http://www.michiganlegislature.org/.