Attachment theory and Custody in Michigan

Attachment theory describes the emotional bonds a child develops to other people and the impact the bonds have on development.

Attachment theory in psychology originates from a London psychiatrist named John Bowlby and his treatment of emotionally abused children.  In 1958, Dr. Bowlby developed the notion that early separations of a child with their mother impacted a child’s social, emotional and cognitive development.  The theory has since expanded to support the notion that early separations with a mother or father impact the emotional bonds a child develops and impacts a child’s social, emotional and cognitive development.


Custody in Michigan cases involving very young children pose unique challenges.  The Michigan Child Custody Act of 1970 requires courts to consider the “best interest of the child” and provides 12 child custody factors for courts to apply when determining child custody in Michigan.  Attachment theory seems to support the idea that a child should spend time with both a mother and a father.

However, not all relationships are “good” relationships.  Attachment theory explores the consequences of a mother who is not responsive to a child’s needs or a father who does not show up for parenting time.  Attachment theory warns of the risks associated with bad attachments.  Specifically, the risk of poor social, emotional and cognitive development.

According to attachment theory, the critical attachments are made before the age of 9 Months, therefore, in cases involving a young child, attachment theory should be considered in application of the best interest of a child factors when addressing custody in Michigan.  A child can be at great risk if intimate relationships with loving parents are disturbed.

We provide more information on Michigan divorce law than anyone.  We can help you develop a specific reasonable parenting time schedule in Michigan consistent with your goals.

Change is rarely easy, sometimes complicated and often emotional.   Our Michigan divorce attorneys are experienced in family law.  We utilize a team approach to focus on solutions by applying Michigan law properly.  We specialize in helping you focus on your goals, protect your property interests, manage your custody and support interest, and keep you happy in life’s most difficult circumstances.

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I have been exclusively practicing divorce and family law in Michigan for over two decades.  The attorneys at Findling Law all share the core value of practicing law to help people navigate change in their lives, without compromising principles.  We specialize in high socio-economic, high-profile and high-conflict cases, while also working with clients of all backgrounds. We recognize that the most important aspect of the practice of law is the application of the law to your specific circumstances.

That is why we provide more free information on divorce and family law than any other Michigan law firm. We want to help you manage your situation. Allow our exceptional legal team to help you navigate the change in your life, without compromising principles.

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By:  Daniel Findling

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