Michigan enshrines its custody laws in the Michigan Child Custody Act. This act enumerates the various factors that guide a court and parents in how to set up custody arrangements. An attorney can help you decipher this law and how it should affect your custody arrangement proposal.
Parents are encouraged to come up with their own custody arrangements. If this happens, then the court's only job is to review it to ensure that it is in the best interests of the child. Barring an agreement, the court can order a custody arrangement based on the following factors.
First, the court considers the capacity of the parties, usually parents or relatives, to provide for the child. Specifically, provide the child with food, shelter, clothing, medical care and other requirements to provide for the child. Essentially, the parties involved must be capable of providing the minimum required care under the law.
The court next considers the love and affection between the child and the involved parties. The court will clearly not order custody to a party that does not love the child. Connected with that requirement, the court also considers the capacity of the involved parties to give guidance, affection and love to the child. This delves into the mental and emotional state of the parties. Are they mentally capable of developing this relationship with the child?
If you are considering divorce and you have children, you may want to consult with a family law attorney. Obtaining custody of your child is never a guarantee. You must demonstrate that having custody is in your child's best interests. An attorney can help you refine your position and arguments. Getting help doesn't mean it is over, it only means you need a little backup.