During a Michigan divorce, disputes over children are common. Since the breakup of a marriage can be difficult for kids, it is important that the parents do whatever they can to make the process as seamless as possible.
For many, joint custody is the most viable option. While this generally benefits the child with both parents having equal time, it is imperative for the parents to understand their role. Having a grasp of the law and how it views joint custody is key from the beginning.
What factors are considered when granting joint custody?
As with any custody case, the parents will continually hear about “best interests of the child.” This is wide-ranging, but there are basics to remember. When one or both parents asks for joint custody, the court will consider it and give its reasons for approving or denying it.
As part of the best interests, the court will need to know that the parents are willing to cooperate. For example, if they must communicate about schooling or medical care, they are expected to do so with the primary focus being on the child and not their own lingering negative feelings about the breakdown of their relationship. Of course, there are situations in which the parents are on good terms after parting ways. This can be helpful when there is a joint custody request.
The court can give a guideline as to when the child will be with each parent or the parents can decide on their own. When there are disagreements about residency, the court will give its reasoning as to why it decided the way it did. When each parent has the child, they will make the basic, everyday decisions in the child’s stead. Major decisions generally need to be discussed.
Custody matters can be difficult, making it essential for parents to have help
These cases can be complicated and the primary objective is to ensure that the child has a safe place to live, has communication with both parents, is given everything they need to thrive and that the parents can discuss the child’s life objectively. In some cases, joint custody is unwise given various factors like past abuse, work considerations, the distance the parents live apart and more. Custody is not a one-size-fits-all situation and having an experienced attorney who can help navigate the process is extremely beneficial. If you’d like to learn more, contact us to schedule a consultation.