Family Law
Three Rivers - Family Law

Blog

Articles

Videos

If you have any questions, feel free to contact:

Michael A. Hettinger

Andrew M. Wright

Three Rivers: 273-7800 Battle Creek: 968-5000
Kalamazoo 324-2000  Sturgis: 659-6161
Coldwater: (517)278-6800  Dowagiac: 782-2500
Fax: 344-3601  Statewide: 800-294-5055

When determining custody disputes, courts consider twelve factors. No one factor is deciding, and all are taken into account and balanced when determining the custody outcome. Custody can be decided in a number of ways, including joint physical and joint legal custody, sole physical and legal custody, or a combination of the two such as joint legal but sole physical custody.

The issues taken into account, and explicitly detailed in statutory law, are:

  1. The love, affection and other emotional ties existing between each parent and the child(ren).
  2. The capacity and disposition of each parent to vive the child (ren) love, affection, and guidance and to continue the education and raising of the child (ren) in the parent's religion or creed, if any.
  3. The capacity and disposition of each parent to provide the child(ren) 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.
  4. The length of time the child(ren) has (have) lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity by having the child(ren) remain with that parent.
  5. Whether the existing or proposed custodial home or homes will allow the child(ren) to continue and/or develop ties with each parent's family members and close friend.
  6. Moral fitness of each parent.
  7. Each parent's mental and physical health.
  8. The home, school, and community record of the child(ren).
  9. The reasonable preference of the child(ren), if the court considers the child(ren) to be of sufficient age to express preference.
  10. Each parent's willingness and ability to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child(ren) relationship between the child(ren) and the other parent or the child(ren) and the parents.
  11. Domestic violence, if any, regardless of whether violence was directed against or witnessed by the child(ren).
  12. Any other information that has not been discussed but the court might consider relevant to a particular child in this custody dispute.

Disclaimer