Many things come from getting a divorce, but figuring out child custody may be one of the most difficult. Parents may find it hard to create a parenting plan that works for everyone. Furthermore, children must transition from a traditional family household to a single-parent living situation.
In some cases, parents negotiate through mediation to create their custody arrangement and parenting schedule. Other situations may require the court to make the final decision as to what type of custody is best for the child.
What are the types of custody?
A sole physical custody arrangement occurs when the child lives primarily with one parent and the non-custodial parent has visitation times. Joint custody, on the other hand, occurs when the child lives with both parents. The schedule may differ depending on the circumstances. For example, the child may reside with one parent during the school year and alternate weekends between parents, then spend the summer with the other parent.
What factors will the courts consider?
According to the Michigan Child Custody Act, the court considers certain factors before setting a final custody schedule. These factors include the following:
- Which parent provided day to daycare for the child during the marriage
- The ability of each parent to provide food, medical care, educational assistance and a healthy living environment
- The physical and mental health of each parent
- Whether there are siblings involved and the ties developed within the family unit
- Whether domestic violence was involved
If the child is of a reasonable age, the court may ask them which parent they prefer to live with.
Keep in mind that once child custody is set, you may be able to modify the arrangement if a change in life situation occurs.