Divorce always comes with a multitude of life-changing decisions, but no matter carries more weight than child custody. Sometimes parents cannot agree on time-sharing, child support, and other custody matters.
If you are in this situation, you have several options. For example, you and your ex could attend mediation. This is a process in which an unbiased third party will evaluate your case and provide recommendations based on Michigan laws and his or her experience. However, you are under no obligation to accept the recommendations. Alternatively, you could take the dispute to court. No matter which option you choose, the custody arrangement should reflect your child’s best interests. If you are facing a child custody dispute in Michigan, contact Gordon & Hess, PLC. Brian E. Gordon is a divorce attorney in Grand Rapids who will evaluate your case, answer your questions, and protect your interests. Our attorneys offer 30 years of combined experience representing clients throughout West Michigan. Call 616-272-3331 to schedule a free half-hour consultation. You can also learn more about Michigan divorce laws by visiting www.USAttorneys.com. Factors That Determine a Child’s Best Interests in Michigan According to the Michigan Legislature, these 12 factors determine a child’s best interests in custody proceedings:
- The emotional ties, such as love and affection, that exist between the child and parents
- The ability and willingness of each parent to give the child guidance, love and affection, and to continue educating and raising the child in his or her creed or religion, if any
- The ability and willingness of each parent to give the child clothing, medical care, food and other necessities
- The amount of time the child has thrived in a satisfactory, stable environment, and each parent’s ability to maintain a safe environment for the child
- The permanence of proposed or existing custodial homes
- Each parent’s moral fitness
- Each parent’s physical and mental health
- The child’s school, home and community record
- Preferences of the child
- The ability and willingness of each parent to encourage and facilitate a continuing relationship between the child and his or her other parent
- Each parent’s history of domestic violence
- Other factors that the court consider relevant to a particular case
If your child custody dispute goes to court, the judge will consider these 12 factors when determining the custody arrangement. If you want physical and/or legal custody of your child, you will have to show evidence that proves the arrangement you desire is in the child’s best interests. This is where a divorce attorney may be able to help. A Grand Rapids child custody lawyer from Gordon & Hess, PLC can evaluate your case and protect your interests. Brian E. Gordon is a state-approved mediator in domestic relations mediation, and he can help you avoid making personal or financial mistakes during your divorce proceedings. Call 616-272-3331 to schedule a free half-hour consultation.