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

Michigan’s ‘Best Interest of the Child’ Factors

Are you currently going through a divorce?

Do you and your child’s or children’s other parent disagree about who should have custody?

The State of Michigan has put into place 12 factors to help decide what is in the best interest of the child when deciding custody in divorce cases. Below are the 12 factors provided by the Michigan Legislative website. Each factor includes an easy-to-understand explanation if you are going through a divorce in Michigan.

Today we are looking into factors A – E. On Monday, we will publish factors F – L.

Factor (a) “The love, affection, and other emotional ties existing between the parties involved and the child.”

This first factor is to establish who the child is bonded with and who cares for the child’s emotional needs. Questions that may be asked are, who reads the child bed time stories and who makes the child’s lunch.

Factor (b) “The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to give the child love, affection, and guidance and to continue the education and raising of the child in his or her religion or creed, if any.”

Which parent helps the child with their homework and who is taking the child to sports practices? How does each parent discipline the child? These are some of the questions the court will ask.

Factor (c) “The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care or other remedial care recognized and permitted under the laws of this state in place of medical care, and other material needs.”

To decide this factor, the court will ask questions like, what is the earning potential of each parent? Who is purchasing the child’s food and clothing? Which parent is taking the child to his or her medical appointments?

Factor (d) “The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment, and the desirability of maintaining continuity.”

Questions that might be asked are include which parent can provide the smoothest transition and which parent provides a safe and secure home environment?

Factor (e) “The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home or homes.”

This factor is looking into who is in each parent’s home. Will the child be living with siblings or half-siblings?

Make sure to come back Monday for the factors F – L. Please note that every divorce, family, couple’s circumstance is different. The information provided on this blog is general. If you have questions concerning your particular situation, please call my office.

248-348-7400 or 586-530-1000