Michigan child custody and parenting time – The moral fitness of the parties. By: Daniel Findling
In every parenting time and custody case in Michigan, the court is required to evaluate the best interest of the children. Michigan adopted the Child Custody Act and requires a court to consider the best interest of a child. The courts evaluate and sum 12 child custody factors when determining what is in the best interest of a child.
One of the 12 best interest factors is the moral fitness of the parties. However, moral fitness is hard to define and often subjective. After all, whose moral code is the court referring to? Court’s utilize a general understanding of moral fitness and the moral fitness of the parties is relevant consideration in both Michigan custody and Michigan parenting time cases.
Under Michigan child custody and Michigan parenting time law, evidence of poor moral fitness of a party may include:
- The existence of a criminal record and the proximity or remoteness in time of the criminal conviction;
- The introduction of children to a parent’s boyfriend or girlfriend before divorce;
- Alcoholism and drug use;
- A poor driving record;
- Domestic violence;
- Allegations of child neglect or abuse;
- The pervasive use of foul language around the children.
Most parents are morally fit. Notwithstanding, it is not uncommon for allegations of moral fitness to arise within the context of a contested Michigan child custody or Michigan parenting time case.
If you have any additional questions, comments or concerns, I encourage you to set up a free confidential consultation with one of our Michigan divorce attorneys. The consultation is great first step to develop a plan and set goals. We will answer all of your questions. More importantly, you will leave with an action plan for success.
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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.
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By: Daniel Findling