Divorce/Family Law

Custody Disputes: Primary Custody & Custody Factors

The 12 Factors of Child Custody in Michigan

Child custody is determined based on the best interests of the child. When the parties cannot reach an agreement, judges are instructed to use 12 statutory factors. If you are going through contentious divorce, the judge will apply these factors to create a custody agreement. But because the judge will not have to live with the agreement, it may not be ideal for you or your child. Our experienced attorneys understand this, and we work to develop a viable custody agreement that truly serves the best interests of the children and their parents.

What the Factors Mean to You

Joint custody and divorceAt Miller & Calabrese, P.C., we help you understand the factors use in determining child custody and how the judge in your case may view them. The list is very broad, and for good measure it the final ‘factor’ that is a catch-all. The full list:

  1. The emotional relationship between the parents and the child
  2. The parents’ ability to love and raise the child
  3. The parents’ ability to provide the child with food, clothing and medical care
  4. The length of time the child has lived in a stable environment
  5. The stability of each parent’s home
  6. The moral fitness of each parent
  7. The mental and physical health of each parent
  8. The home, school and community record of the child
  9. The child’s preference if he or she is old enough
  10. The willingness of each parent to foster a good relationship with the other parent
  11. Domestic violence
  12. Any other factors the court considers relevant

The Connection Between Child Support and Child Custody

One of the things many parents ask about is the connection between child custody and child support. It is important to understand that parents are expected to share economic responsibility for their children. There is no magic number that determines a correlation between the number of overnights a parent has with the child and the amount they will be expected to pay in support. Courts take a dim view of parents who attempt to shirk their parental obligations. The trend is towards joint physical custody orders and there are fewer cases where sole physical custody is seen as appropriate.

Free Initial Consultation

We help our clients create parenting plans that are in the best interests of their kids. For help with child custody determinations during divorce, call 734-455-1230 or contact us online and schedule a free initial consultation with our lawyers.