Understanding child custody in Michigan

Navigating child custody in Michigan can be complicated and emotional for parents. Child custody can be described in two forms. Legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is defined by statute (MCL 722.26a(7)(b)) and refers to the “decision making authority as to important decisions affecting the welfare of the child”. However, physical custody is not defined by statute, but can be thought of as parenting time or visitation.
From a high level, child custody in Michigan refers to the legal arrangment regarding when each parent spends time with a child (often referred to as parenting time) and how parents decide important decisions (legal custody). Joint legal custody simply means that important decisions are shared equally and when parents do not agree, a motion can be filed with the court who will decide. Sole legal custody is when important decisions are made by only one parent. However, sole legal custody is not very common. The factors influencing child custody decisions are called best interest of the child factors, which are 12 factors the legislature deemed important when deciding custody. The last best interest of the child factor is factor l) “Any other factor considered by the court to be relevant to a particular child custody dispute”. Factor I is a catch all provision which will vary from case to case. In Michigan, a child custody arrangement can be modified by agreement of the parties (with court approval) or when circumstances change, justifying a modification. Parenting time can also be modified under similar, albiet less stringment circumstances.
Both child custody and parenting time are deeply rooted in the best interest of the child, which are a variety of factors examining what is best for the child. Let us help you navigate this challenging time with greater clarity and confidence. For personalized legal advice, feel comfortable contacting us. By: Daniel Findling (c) 2024.

Our Core Values.


Ph. 248-399-3300 : Email:Daniel@Findlinglaw.com : After hours emergency?+1 (248) 633-8583

I have been exclusively practicing divorce and family law in Michigan for almost 30 years. 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.
change custody

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

Call Now Button