Best Interest Factors: MCL 722.23
In Michigan the Court considers several factors when determining child custody issues. These factors are often referred to as the Best Interest Factors. The Michigan Legislature has compiled a list and incorporated these factors in the Child Custody Act of 1970.
722.23 "Best Interest of the Child"
Sec. 3: As used in this act, 'best interest 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.
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 are not weighed evenly. Some factors are more important than others. For instance, factor j is considered one the, if not the, most important factor. This factor refers to the parents ability to act appropriately regarding each other. Posting negative things about each other on social media is a huge no, no. Criticizing each other, especially in front of the minor child(ren) is another big no, no. When dealing with child custody issues it is ALWAYS better to take the high road. Avoid mud slinging. This behavior will only incur the Court's wrath and make you look bad in front of your child(ren).
The JRothstein Law Group PLLC located in DeWitt, MI and serving the tri-county area of Ingham, Eaton and Clinton Counties. If you are having any child custody issues, please call us at (517) 575-8039 for a free phone consultation.