Michigan Child Custody Factors: How Courts Decide

When Michigan courts make child custody determinations, the best interests of the involved children always guide them. Determining the children’s best interests in each unique case generally involves applying best interest factors, and having a better understanding of these factors can help you get a better handle on your child custody case. If you are facing child custody concerns, don’t wait to consult with an experienced Southeast Michigan child custody attorney.

Best Interest Factors

There is a wide range of best-interest factors for the court to consider in the determination of child custody orders, and they include all the following:


  • The depth of the relationship between each parent and each child
  • Each parent’s ability and inclination to provide for the children’s physical, emotional, and educational needs
  • Each parent’s moral fitness
  • Each child’s needs, including any special requirements, and each parent’s ability and inclination to satisfy these needs
  • The desirability of maintaining the status quo – or the children’s current living situation in terms of home, school, and community – and how long the present circumstances have been in effect
  • The overall mental and physical health of each parent
  • The reasonable preference of each child who is considered mature enough to be consulted
  • Each parent’s willingness and capacity to promote an ongoing and close relationship between the other parent and their shared children
  • Whether domestic violence, child abuse, or neglect is a concern
  • Any other factors the court considers relevant to the case at hand


The Court’s Position on the Matter

Ultimately, the court has considerable discretion regarding matters of child custody. However, it’s essential to understand that the court begins with the presumption that the children’s best interests are best served when the parenting schedule maximizes the time each parent spends with them. One ex may become the primary custodial parent, but the other will likely be awarded a significant amount of visitation.

Resolving Child Custody between Yourselves

Child custody is a primary concern that directly affects parental rights, and as such, most parents prefer to keep decision-making authority on the matter between themselves. Options include:


  • Negotiating child custody terms directly with one another – under the skilled guidance of your respective child custody attorneys
  • Turning to your attorneys to do the negotiating on behalf of each of you
  • Heading to mediation – at which a professional mediator who acts as a neutral third party will help you better understand what you can likely expect from the court and will help you explore your best options

An Experienced Southeast Michigan Child Custody Attorney Can Help

If you’re facing a child custody case, the Southeast Michigan child custody attorneys at Harris & Literski are here to help. We dedicate our impressive practice to helping valued clients like you resolve their child custody cases – with their parental rights intact. To learn more, please contact or call us at 810-888-0585 today.