NOTE: This article on child custody laws in Michigan is not intended to be, nor should it be, used as a substitute for independent legal counsel. It is for general informational purposes only. Consult with an attorney for an evaluation of how these issues impact your personal situation. In Michigan, these laws are embodied within the Michigan Child Custody Act of 1970.
Michigan's Custody Act establishes the criteria and procedures for courts and attorneys to resolve disputes regarding the custody of children. In each county, it is the circuit court within that county that is able to hear these cases.
Under the Child Custody Act, the court may award custody to one or more of the parties involved (usually parents) or to third persons and make orders to provide for the child's support and for reasonable parenting or grandparenting time.
Additionally, the court may modify or amend its judgments or orders until the child attains the age of 18 (19 1/2 if specific statutory requirements are met and the child is attending high school full time), use a guardian ad litem or the community resources in the behavioral sciences and other professions in the investigation and study of the custody dispute and consider their recommendations for the resolution of the dispute, and take any other action necessary.
This is important for persons with children to understand, because custody can be an issue that changes not only during a divorce, but may change over time.
Regardless, the laws provide that, in all cases, the best interests of the child are the controlling consideration in custody disputes. Initially, courts will consider that it is in the best interests of a child to have a relationship with both parents. However, that is not always the case.
Read Part Two of this article.
Learn about the best interests of the child factors that courts must consider in a Michigan custody dispute.
What are the different types of child custody? Click here to learn more.
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