Family court judges tend to enjoy a bit of latitude when they make their rulings, but the Michigan Child Custody Act does set some standards that have to be followed. Understanding what factors a judge is expected to use when ruling on a custody dispute can help you better understand how to tailor your requests and plead your case. They include:
- What type of love, affection and emotional ties do you share with your child? The stronger your bond, the better.
- What capacity and willingness do you have to show your child the love and guidance they need? Can you see to your child’s education and religious needs?
- Are you capable and willing to provide your child with the necessary food, shelter, clothing and medical care they need?
- Has there been domestic violence involved? If the other parent directed violence at your child or acted violently in your child’s presence, that may influence the court your way.
- Are there any questions of moral fitness? Courts may not want to place a child with a parent who exhibits questionable moral behavior.
- How permanent is the home you can offer your child? Is your residence and family unit fairly stable? The court prefers to place children in homes that are likely to offer continuity.
- How long has your child’s living arrangements been set? Judges can be reluctant to upset the existing custody arrangements when a child’s world is satisfactory.
- Are there any mental or physical issues that could affect your ability to be an effective parent?
- Has your child been thriving in their home, school and community? Again, judges generally don’t want to disrupt a good situation.
- What preference does your child have about custody? If your child is mature enough to give their opinion to the court, that may be part of the judge’s decision.
- Are you willing to facilitate your child’s relationship with the other parent? The court wants to know that your custody request isn’t an act of malice to the other parent.
- Is there anything else the court should know? Judges can consider anything else that may be relevant.
Find out how our office may be able to help you take charge of a custody issue. Continue to explore our site or contact us directly.