Michigan encourages both parents to remain involved in their children's lives, even after divorce. Courts are required to consider joint custody, if either or both parents request it. However, there are different kinds of child custody in Michigan. Let's talk about them.
TWO TYPES OF CUSTODY: LEGAL AND PHYSICAL
Parents can share Legal Custody which is referred to as “Joint Legal Custody” or one parent may be awarded Legal Custody which means one parent has “Sole Legal Custody”.
If the parties are awarded “Joint Legal Custody” then each parent shares in decision-making regarding the children and parents must consult with one another to make decisions including schooling, religion, medical issues and other important child-rearing issues.
Joint Legal Custody also provides each parent with access to their children’s health and medical records. However, in some cases one parent will be awarded “Sole Legal Custody”. In these cases, the parent with Sole Legal Custody does not have to consult with the other parent regarding important issues involving the minor child.
The second form of Custody is known as “Physical Custody”. Physical custody as shared between the parents is referred to as “Joint Physical Custody” or one parent may be awarded Physical Custody which means one parent has “Primary Physical Custody”.
“Joint Physical Custody” means that the parents attempt to share parenting time with the children on a more or less equal basis. This generally occurs when the parents can cooperate with one another for the best interest of the children.
So, how does the court decide the custody issues? The court's custody award must be based on the best interests of the children, as determined by a number of factors set out in the state's custody law.
The court should look into the best interest of the child standards as per the custody law in Michigan.
Child custody in Michigan is very complex. There are various burdens of proof which can impact the outcome of a case. It is recommended that if you are involved in, or are looking to initiate a custody action, that you retain the services of an experienced law firm such as Van Tubergen, Treutler & Hayes, PLLC, with experience in domestic relations law. Contact us today for a free initial consultation. 616-377-0087