In Michigan family courts, child custody issues are determined by seriously considering the best interests of the child. In most cases, one of the biological parents of the minor child is awarded the primary or sole custody of the child. However, in some cases, the family court judge may find that either or both parents are unfit to be parents. In such cases, parental rights may be terminated by a court order.
In many cases, the court may find that awarding child custody to the biological parent may not serve the best interests of the child. Such cases may be determined on the grounds of chronic neglect of the child or abuse of the child at the hands of the biological parent. In many cases, there may be evidence of the child being sexually abused in the biological parent's home. In such cases, the court may terminate all parental rights.
There may be cases where the child had been previously abandoned by the biological parent. Such parents may lose all parental rights on the grounds of abandonment of a minor child. There may even be cases where the parent is found to be mentally incapable of raising a child. Long-term chronic substance abuse and drug dependency may also render a parent unfit to raise the minor child.
The family court may also find that the biological parent does not have the means to maintain the basic well-being of the minor child. If the biological parent has a prior legal history of his parental rights being terminated for other biological children for reasons that may still exist and persist, the court may find that the best interests of the child are served by terminating the parental rights to the child.
Source: ChildWelfare.gov, "Grounds for Involuntary Termination of Paternal Rights," Accessed on March 19, 2015