June 29, 2018

What does the court recognize as a child’s best interest?

As a parent in Michigan who has just gone through a divorce, you’ve likely heard that custody matters are decided based on the child’s best interest. Lisa Stern, Michigan Family Law Attorney, is here to help explain exactly what that means.

Michigan is a state which follows the “best interests of the child” when it comes to determining custody-related matters. What does this mean? Essentially, the well-being of your child will trump everything else. Certain factors are recognized by the state when it comes to figuring out what benefits your child the most. This can include:

  • Who can provide life’s necessities
  • The physical and mental health of the parents
  • Environmental stability
  • Emotional ties
  • Moral fitness of the parents

Other factors can include the child’s preference, but only up to a reasonable degree and if the child is old enough to properly make that determination. Any instances of domestic abuse will also be taken into consideration, even if the child was not directly involved. For example, if they witnessed the abuse of one parent by another, the courts will make note of it.

In the end, the most important things boil down to what will aid the child’s development as they grow. Things that will contribute to the stability of their home life, the amount of love and attention they receive, and whether or not they will have opportunities to succeed play major roles.

If you have any other questions about child custody arrangements, take a look at our web page, where we answer many of the most pressing questions that newly-divorced parents have. Whether you’re looking for guidance on child support payments, custody options, or more, you will be able to find helpful information.