Skip to Main Content
Litigation Blog.
The seasoned lawyers and litigators at The Rubinstein Law Firm are here to share their insights with you.

How is child custody determined in Michigan?

Going through the divorce process is often overwhelming, especially when it comes to tackling difficult topics like child custody. Transitioning your children from a single home environment to a split parent relationship is emotional and takes some careful planning.

While it is critical to make decisions based on what is best for the children, each parent may have different ideas about what that is. You can either place the decision in the hands of the court or work through the process through mediation.

Sole vs. joint custody

In sole physical custody arrangements, the child lives with a primary parent, or custodial parent, and the court creates a visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent. In a joint custody situation, however, both parents split time with the child. The child may stay with each parent for a certain period of time. The court will review your situation and determine which is best for the child.

A look at the factors

Before the court can decide whether to award sole or joint physical custody, there are several factors to consider, according to the Michigan state legislature. These factors include the following:

  • The bond the child has established with each parent
  • The ability each parent has to provide the child with a stable, caring and loving household
  • The physical and mental health of each parent
  • The occupation, job and income of each parent
  • Child’s access to school, extracurricular activities, medical care and overall well being

The court will also look at whether domestic violence was involved in the household. In some cases, the court may ask the child which they would prefer.

It is important to keep in mind that not all custody arrangements are final. Either parent can petition for child custody modification if life changes occur.