Divorce in Michigan – ‘Best Interest of the Child’ Factors – Part 2

Divorce in Michigan – ‘Best Interest of the Child’ Factors - Part 2

Are you currently going through a divorce in Michigan and wonder who will get custody of your children?

Today, we are looking into the last 7 factors that will help decide who will win custody of minor children in a divorce battle in Michigan. These factors come into play when the parents are unable to come to a decision on which parent the child will live with after the divorce.

Please remember to note that the information published on this blog is general and is not intended as legal counsel. Every family, couple, and child is different which makes every case unique. If you have any questions regarding your situation, please contact my office.

Factor (f) “The moral fitness of the parties involved.”
Was there an extra-marital affair that the child was aware of? Has there been any physical or verbal abuse? Do either of the parents have a criminal record? Questions like these will help the court to determine the moral fitness of each parent.

Factor (g) “The mental and physical health of the parties involved.”
The court will take into account whether or not either parent has a physical or mental health concern that would interfere with caring for the child.

Factor (h) “The home, school, and community record of the child.”
Questions that the court will ask when deciding the custody of a minor child or child include: which parent goes to the child’s school conferences and who encourages the child to interact with their friends?

Factor (i) “The reasonable preference of the child, if the court considers the child to be of sufficient age to express preference.”
Here is what Michigan Legal Help had to say about this particular factor,

It is up to the court to decide whether a child is old enough to state a preference. Courts have considered children as young as eight old enough. The court will give more weight to this factor with children who are older or more mature. The child’s preference will not be shared with either parent.”

Factor (j) “The willingness and ability of each of the parties to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent or the child and the parents.”
To help the court decide this factor, you may be asked questions like, are you willing to cooperate with a scheduled parenting time. Or, how do you criticize the other parent in front of the child?

Factor (k) “Domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against or witnessed by the child.”
This factor digs into whether or not there has been domestic violence in the home and if the child or children were present when the incident(s) happened.

Factor (l) “Any other factor considered by the court to be relevant to a particular child custody dispute.”
As we have discussed earlier, every family, couple, and divorce is different. Your situation may have unique considerations that will be taken into account.

Divorce is rarely easy, especially if it involves children, but you do not have to face it alone. An experienced lawyer can make all the difference. Please call my office at:

248-348-7400 or 586-530-1000

Source: Michigan Legislative – 722.23 “Best interests of the child” defined.
CHILD CUSTODY ACT OF 1970 (EXCERPT)
Act 91 of 1970