Michigan couples who have decided to end a marriage will have much to consider as they move forward with a divorce. If they have children, child custody, child support and parenting time will come to the forefront. People will have their own goals and desires, but it is imperative to bear in mind that the children should be the focus. That is why the main objective in a case is adhering to the child’s best interests. Parents preparing for a case should be cognizant of the law in this context and understand how it will impact their situation.
What does the law say about a child’s best interests in a custody case?
The court will assess certain factors to determine what will suit the child’s needs. That means that the child must be put in a situation where he or she can experience love, affection and bond emotionally with the parents. The parents also have a role in this as they must provide that love and affection while simultaneously guiding the child in a nurturing environment. The parents must have the ability to provide the basics including a home, food, clothes and medical care.
The past will be analyzed. For example, the court will assess if the child was previously in a safe environment, had all the necessities and how long that was in place. Moral fitness will be considered as will the mental and physical health. There will be school records, community history and how the child was taken care of in the home. In some instances, the child will be of sufficient age and maturity to express a preference as to where to reside.
The parents are expected to have a reasonable relationship and ensure that the child’s relationship with the other parent is not negatively impacted by any lingering negative feelings the parents may have due to the marital breakdown. If there were domestic violence issues, that will assuredly impact how the child’s best interests are gauged in a child custody case. Any factor that the court deems important will be part of the process.
When dealing with a child custody case, legal advice can be key
Whether the relationship is acrimonious or relatively friendly, it is a wise step to have legal assistance when dealing with a child custody case. Part of that is being fully aware of what it means to determine the child’s best interests. To present a case to have custody and to make certain that there is reasonable parenting time, it is important to consult with an experienced family law professional from the start. This can be beneficial to address any issue that arises.