No one could know what is best for your child as much as you do, right? While this may be true, you must still abide by the family court’s decision when it makes child custody decisions.
Even though family court judges do not know your kids personally, they know more about happy and healthy children than you may think. They do not make child custody decisions on a whim. Instead, they weigh the pros and cons of each custody arrangement before issuing a custody order.
How courts protect your child’s best interests
In divorce law, you may have heard the phrase, “in the best interests of the child.” Each state has a set of criteria or factors courts use when making custody decisions. Many of these factors look similar from state to state. However, there may be a few differences depending on your location.
In Michigan, family courts examine several factors to help them choose the most beneficial child custody arrangement. Examples include:
- The permanence of each parent’s home
- The closeness between the child and each parent
- Each parent’s mental, physical and moral fitness
- The child’s custodial preference (when mature enough to weigh in)
- Each parent’s ability to provide the basics (food, shelter, clothing, etc.)
- Any history of domestic violence involving either or both parents
- Each parent’s willingness to encourage the child’s relationship with the other parent
As you can see, modern family courts strive to provide all children with environments that allow them to thrive in the wake of divorce. Becoming more familiar with state child custody guidelines can alleviate most of your concerns about your kids in their post-divorce life.