The Michigan Child Custody Act is the state’s law regarding child custody. It assumes it is in the child’s best interests to maintain an active and solid relationship with both parents. Parents often worry about who gets to keep the children after a divorce. They will want custody of the children, and according to the Michigan Child Custody Act, they should share it through joint custody. Therefore, the court will recommend joint custody to the parents, and if both agree, the court will order it.
What is joint custody in Michigan?
Joint custody can either be legal or physical. Joint legal custody is when both parents share the decision-making authority over their children’s lives. They must consult with each other before making significant changes or judgments regarding their children and their children’s overall upbringing. When parents share joint legal custody, they have the legal right to decide on important matters for their children, such as the following:
- Medical care
- Religious upbringing
- Extracurricular and enrichment activities
Joint physical custody is when the children reside with both parents. However, they cannot be in two places simultaneously, so the approved parenting time schedule will determine how parents share physical custody. Because an equal 50/50 physical custody split is almost impossible, the court may name one parent as the primary custodian, and the other can take the children based on their scheduled parenting time. The children will spend more nights in the home of the primary custodian, and the parent who is not the primary custodian will most likely have to pay child support.
What matters most
At the end of the day, any award or order the court will make will depend on what matters most: the children’s best interests. Of course, that is what matters most to you too. If you and your former spouse can decide on the terms and conditions of the custody arrangement, you will have greater control over how you share your time with your children and parental rights to your children.