Many divorced parents in Michigan struggle with the concept of sharing custody with their ex, as it can feel like they are not as involved in their child’s life as they were during the marriage. However, this does not have to be the case. Nowadays, many Michigan courts encourage custody arrangements where parents agree to share both physical and legal custody, so that both parents continue to be active participants in their child’s life.
Michigan courts may grant joint legal custody, joint physical custody, or both. Joint legal custody generally mean that both parents will be allowed to make decisions relating to the child’s upbringing, regardless of how often they spend time with the child in person. These decisions may relate to the child’s schooling, participation in after-school activities, health, religious upbringing, and other major parts of the child’s life.
Joint physical custody means that each parents will have the child with them at different points throughout the year. The actual arrangements will depend on various factors including the capacity of each parent to provide for the child on a day-to-day basis and where each parent lives. For example, one parent may have physical custody during the school year, while the other parent gets alternate weekends and holidays, and summers. In cases where both parents live near each other, it is possible for the child to alternate weeks between their parent’s homes. In any case, the judge will always focus on the best interests of the child and ensure that he or she has stability.
If both parents are willing and able to care for their child, it is very possible that the court will support both joint legal and physical custody. This allows both parents to make important decisions regarding the child and spend time taking care of the child. If you are planning to divorce your spouse, a family law attorney in your area can help you determine what custody arrangements will be best for your family moving forward.