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Factors affecting child custody cases in Michigan

Oakland County, Michigan, child custody attorneys often tell parents that their children do not deserve to be caught in the middle of contentious family law issues. In many cases, children are used as bargaining chips during child custody disputes. Parents should avoid seeking sole custody of children out of spite. It is important to understand that children can still grow in a nurturing environment despite the fact that their parents are heading on two separate paths. Constructing a sound child custody agreement should be the utmost priority of parents.

Parents who are dealing with custody issues can create their own agreement regarding custody and visitation plans, which is always possible in amicable cases. However, contentious cases are more difficult so the court uses many factors to determine what is best for the children. The first factor considered for the best interests of the children is the emotional ties between the parents and children. Second is the capability of each party to provide a nurturing environment. The third is the financial footing of each parent. Fourth is the length of time the children have lived in a satisfactory environment.

The fifth factor is the disposition of the custodial home. Sixth is the moral fitness of the parents involved. Seventh is the physical and mental well-being of all parties involved. Eighth, the court considers the location of the child's home, the community and the school. As much as possible, the court does not want children to live away from a community they know.

The court also considers the ability of each parent to maintain a healthy parent-to-child relationship. If a parent also has a history of domestic violence, it is highly likely that the other parent will receive sole custody. All these factors should be taken into consideration to ensure that children involved in a divorce will find the transition process easy.

Source: Michigan Supreme Court, "Custody guideline," Accessed on Dec. 31, 2014

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