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Factors considered during child custody cases

A child custody case can be complicated, especially if you both want custody and you can't agree on anything on your own. The court in Michigan will then need to step in and set up a custody agreement and a parenting plan. When this happens, the court looks at many different factors, including the following:

1. What the child wants.

If the child is deemed to be old enough to have his or her own desires, the child can ask for a certain agreement. This doesn't mean the court will go along with it, but the best interests of that child are the main goal, so it makes a difference.

2. The health of the parents.

If one parent is either physically or mentally unhealthy, it will be harder to get custody. The court wants the child to have a safe, supporting home, and these complications can sometimes make that impossible.

3. The home environment.

Additionally, the entire environment that the home provides has to be considered. Is it clean and safe? Will the child have a loving home? How stable is the living situation?

4. The ability to give care.

Naturally, the court also has to determine which parent will be best able to provide care. If one has a job and the other does not, that could swing the case. The parent must be able to provide the basics, like food, clothing and shelter, and any inability to do so may mean sole custody is not possible.

If you're working through this process, be sure that you understand all of your legal options.

Source: FIndLaw, "Child Custody Basics," accessed June 19, 2015

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