Michigan Divorce Custody
To whom does the custody of the child go to?
Child custody happens to be the major concern between two divorcing partners. In the state of Michigan the courts that deal with Michigan divorce custody, are very clear to whom the custody of the child goes to. Michigan courts award child custody according to the parent who fulfills the best interests of the child. They look upon 12 basic factors to determine what all matters concern the child. They are summarized as follows:
- Emotional bondage with the child.
Courts try to determine with which parent the child emotionally bonds well. If there is any problem with the child, which parent does he go to? As emotional bondage is with the parent who spends qualitatively and quantitatively more time with the child, hence, the amount of time that a parent spends with the child is important for the judge in Michigan courts.
Courts in Michigan concerned with Michigan divorce custody are known to award child custody to the parent who has been the primary caretaker of the child. In terms of taking complete care of the child, from preparing meals, serving food, bathing, dressing up the child, takes him/her to the doctor etc, this parent is considered as the primary care taker of the child.
- Concerned with discipline and extracurricular activities
The next concern of the courts is to know the parent who tries to instill discipline in the child regarding school work, religious practices etc. Preference is given to that parent who does not indulge in verbal abuse, does not hurt the feelings of the child, guides the child in all matters and takes care of the child during sickness.
- Financial capacity of the parent
Financial power of the parent is not a very significant criterion in Michigan divorce custody cases while deciding about issues of child custody because financially weaker parent may get child custody and also awarded child support for the child. Still, financial soundness of the parent is considered for custody.
- Issue of temporary custody
Courts do not wish to jeopardize the regular schedule of the child. Hence, they prefer that parent for custody who has been involved in taking care and keeping the child during divorce proceedings. In the state of Michigan, hence, it is advisable for divorcing partners to consider the issue of temporary custody of the child with complete seriousness.
- With whom the family unit or home belongs to
Michigan courts award custody to the parent to whom the family unit or the home is supposed to go. This is again to discourage changes in the settings for the child as this may be so destabilizing to the child. Hence, Michigan divorce custody dwells a lot on the family to be the main unit.
- Moral conduct of the parent
Courts are very clear about one thing: the child does not live with the parent with immoral intentions, history of physical abuse, involved in extramarital affairs which are known to the child. Custodian parents may be stripped of their custodian rights if they are known to live with another person with immoral background and intentions.
- Physical and mental fitness of the parent
Custody of the child is awarded to the parent who is physically and mentally capable of taking care of the child. If the parent is mentally unstable or has any ailment which can affect in the care of the child then the custody would be given to the fitter ex-spouse.
- School and community involvement of the child
Courts look at the child’s school and community records to assess the extent of involvement of a parent in his/her education, health, sports etc, while deciding for custody cases. Michigan divorce custody cases are generally by involving the community where the child lives in, interaction and feedback of the teachers to analyze which parent is an active participant in the raising of the child. If the child is an infant or a toddler, then this option is obviously not considered while awarding custody.
- Asking the child
Many Michigan divorce custody cases are known to be awarded on the basis of the inclination of the child. It has been observed that in Michigan, children above the age of eight are considered mature enough to decide with whom they would like to live. Judges are known to ask the child in private without the presence of their parents, attorneys etc. This is to lessen the feeling of guilt in the minds of the child owing to their preference of one parent over the other.
- Which parent believes in a stronger parent-child relationship?
Judges also try to focus on the earnest efforts made by a parent in sustaining parent-child relationship. Through interactions with both the parents and reading the recommendations of a divorce custody evaluation, judges in Michigan divorce custody cases, try to understand which parent would adhere to the parenting plan as laid in front of the court.
- Presence of domestic violence
An important aspect that is often considered while awarding custody in Michigan divorce custody cases, is the presence or absence of domestic violence witnessed by the child or towards the child. Police records related to the matter of violence are cross checked by the courts to ensure that the child goes to the parent with the lease record of any form of domestic violence.
- Other important issues
Courts in the state of Michigan try to keep siblings together and do not separate them. They award divorce child custody keeping this in mind. Apart from that they try to view and analyze the entire home of the family which play a significant role of nurturing the child. The presence of a new spouse in the life of the custodian parent may be harmful to the child and this is an important issue of discussion in Michigan divorce custody cases.
Divorce and custody battles are not easy and honestly drain people out. Judges realize that what is important is to focus on the overall well-being of the child while dealing with custody cases.