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How is child custody determined in Michigan?

On Behalf of | Oct 13, 2023 | Family Law And Divorce

One of the most challenging things you will address during your divorce is what will happen to your children. You know that the end of your marriage will bring changes to many different areas of your life, and this is true for your children as well. You may have concerns about how much time you may have with your kids and your role in their daily lives. It will be helpful to learn about how child custody works in Michigan and what you can do to protect your parental rights.

You likely have strong feelings about child custody and the living arrangements for your children. While it is normal to have these emotions, how you feel in the moment may not be an accurate reflection of what will truly be best for your children. The more you know about custody laws, your parental rights and the options available to you, the better equipped you will be to make thoughtful decisions for your family.

Custody and parenting time

Child custody is a term used to describe which parent physically cares for the child and makes important decisions on his or her behalf. Parents may share custody, or one may be the primary custodian of the child. It is helpful to remember that physical custody and legal custody are different, one referring to time with the parent and the other referring to the parent’s right to make decisions for the child. Parents may create their own custody schedule, or they may go to court for a custody determination.

There is no single perfect custody order. You and the other parent can create one that is mutually satisfactory and built around the unique needs of your family. As you consider your custody options, you may also need to consider the issue of support. In many cases, the parent who has primary custody of the children may be eligible for financial support from the non-custodial parent.

The best interests of the child

The standard for all child custody decisions is making choices that are truly in the best interests of the children above all else. This is true whether the court is making the decision or you and the other parent will negotiate terms. It is possible to create a plan that is reasonable and fair while also protecting your parental rights. You may benefit from seeking guidance as you make these important choices that will affect your family for years to come.