Child custody issues are always front and center in any divorce that involves children. It can also be one of the most difficult and emotional issues that arise in any divorce. Michigan law provides for two aspects of child custody: legal custody and physical custody.
Legal custody concerns which parent will have control over making the major life decisions for a child until they become an adult. Physical custody concerns which parent will be the primary physical custodian of the child and take care of their physical needs.
Generally speaking, Michigan family courts will order joint legal custody, regardless of the physical living arrangements of the child. However, this general rule is subject to exception depending on the particular circumstances of each case and the determination of the court as to the interest and capability of each parent to make major life decisions for their child.
Although Michigan family courts used to generally award primary physical custody to one parent, in recent years, Michigan family courts have become more inclined to accept joint physical custody arrangements.
If the parties cannot agree on legal or physical custody issues, Michigan family courts will make the determination based on factors that are set forth in the Michigan Child Custody Act, which attempts to guide custody determinations based on the “best interests” of the child.
It is important to have a competent attorney representing you to achieve the best possible child custody arrangement.
Please feel free to contact Oakland County, Michigan divorce attorney Michael J. Hamblin for more information on how he can help you with your family law issues.