Married couples who are going through a divorce in Michigan may wonder how the courts decide on custody for the children. Overall, a judge decides based on the Child Custody Act, but there are other considerations that may go into the decision as well.

According to the Michigan Supreme Court, if the parents cannot agree, the court decides if one parent gets sole custody or if both share joint custody. In regard to joint, the judge may grant both physical and legal custody to both parents or a combination.

The state considers the factors laid out by the Child Custody Act, which basically examines what is in the best interest of the child. Some of the factors include:

  • The child’s relationship with each parent
  • The ability of each parent to provide affection, love, medical care, shelter, clothing, food and general guidance
  • The physical and mental state of each party
  • Domestic abuse or addiction in the family
  • Child’s wishes (if child is of right age and maturity)

According to Very Well Family, judges tend to grant joint custody in cases in which both parents seem fit to care for the child, and this decision is often better for the child. Parents who feel they should get sole custody should make sure they demonstrate to the judge certain factors that may help their case.

One is they should ensure they support visitation with the other parent, as this is usually the best for the child. Parents should also make sure they are encouraging a healthy lifestyle in terms of eating, sleeping, activities and routines.