During a divorce, difficult and challenging decisions have to be made. One of the most difficult decisions is that of child custody. As a child custody attorney, I am often asked what happens when parents cannot agree on who should have or get custody of minor children. The simple answer is the court will generally make this decision – however, child custody questions taken to court mean the judge will use the “best interests of the child” in making a final determination.
Child Custody: What Is the Child’s Best Interests?
The court will look at various factors and has the option of weighing each factor equally or giving more weight to specific factors. Some of the more important factors include:
- Health of parents – both the physical and mental health of each parent will be reviewed when determining what is better for the child or children. If one parent has a health issue that could impact the well-being and care of the child, this will be a consideration.
- Willingness to co-parent – parents must be willing to allow the child to have a caring and nurturing relationship with the other parent. This is always a consideration unless there is evidence of domestic abuse.
- Preference of the child– there is no specific age where a child may make their preference known to the judge. The child’s preference may play a role and the parents and other siblings will not be aware of this information at any time during child custody proceedings.
- Child’s relationship with parent – the more involved a parent is in their child’s day-to-day care and activities, the more heavily this will weigh in the final determination of who gets custody of children in a Brighton divorce.
There are several other factors that the judge may consider including any special needs the child may have, the moral fitness of a parent and whether or not one of the parents has been abusive. Any factors you believe should be considered should be discussed with your child custody attorney.
When you and your spouse cannot agree on what is in the best interest of your child, work closely with a child custody attorney to ensure that your interests and the interests of your children are protected. At the Law Office of Kimberly S. Robbins, P.C., we work with parents in Livingston County, Oakland County, Washtenaw County and Genesee County; and cities including Howell, Ann Arbor, Pickney, Fowlerville, Waterford, Pontiac, Ypsilanti, Novi, Brighton and Wixom and many other cities. Kimberly Robbins will help you through challenging child custody disputes. Call her offices today at 248-594-5920 or email her at: [email protected]