“Best Interest Factors” Pertaining to Custody and Parenting Time
On next week’s radio show, Joumana and I, your friendly family law attorney, will be discussing the all-important “best interests” factors as they relate to court’s determination of custody of parenting time of minor children in a family law case.
MCL 722.23 of the “Child Custody Act” first enacted in 1970 states the following:
722.23 "Best interests of the child" defined.
As used in this act, "best interests of the child" means the sum total of the following factors to be considered, evaluated, and determined by the court:
(a) The love, affection, and other emotional ties existing between the parties involved and the child.
(b) The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to give the child love, affection, and guidance and to continue the education and raising of the child in his or her religion or creed, if any.
(c) The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care or other remedial care recognized and permitted under the laws of this state in place of medical care, and other material needs.
(d) The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment, and the desirability of maintaining continuity.
(e) The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home or homes.
(f) The moral fitness of the parties involved.
(g) The mental and physical health of the parties involved.
(h) The home, school, and community record of the child.
(i) The reasonable preference of the child, if the court considers the child to be of sufficient age to express preference.
(j) The willingness and ability of each of the parties to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent or the child and the parents. A court may not consider negatively for the purposes of this factor any reasonable action taken by a parent to protect a child or that parent from sexual assault or domestic violence by the child's other parent.
(k) Domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against or witnessed by the child.
(l) Any other factor considered by the court to be relevant to a particular child custody dispute.
These factors listed above have been one of the most important pieces of family law in Michigan for the last several decades. That’s because every family law case where custody or parenting time is at issue refers back to these factors while the court considers what is in the child’s “best interest.” Of course, what’s in a child’s best interest can mean many different things at different times in a child’s life. That’s why it helps to have an experienced family law attorney at your side, fighting for what’s best for you and your family.
Navigating the challenging world of the family court system can be challenging and complex! If you need advice from an experienced family law attorney regarding your family court orders, or any other domestic issue, the Law Offices of Joumana Kayrouz can help. Please give us a call today and schedule your free consultation at 248-557-3645