Establishing child custody in Michigan: The basics

Establishing child custody in Michigan: The basics

Child custody is a broad topic that only legal minds can fully interpret. Every custody case is unique, depending on the couple and what the law provides. In Michigan, the law covers child custody under the equitable parent doctrine. 

However, custody matters are complicated because the law recognizes both same-sex and opposite-sex marriages. Therefore, determining parental rights, especially when there are disagreements, can be a challenge. At the Law Smith Offices P.C, we understand the confusing legal statutes and seek to help our clients work out their cases. 

How to establish child custody 

Legally, parents should discuss and conclude on child custody matters. The court only approves an agreement if it favors the child. However, if a couple fails to agree, the court can decide that; 

  • Either the mother or father has child custody that is sole custody, or both parents have child custody that is joint custody. 
  • One parent will live with the child under physical custody, and another will make critical decisions on behalf of the child under legal custody. 
  • Visitation will apply to the parent who does not live with the child. 
  • An order issued by the court is final and conclusive. 

Determining paternity 

If unmarried, the law requires that parents establish paternity before filing for child custody. There are two types of cases in determining paternity; either, parents have not been married before, or the mother is in another marriage, not with the father. In these cases, the parents may claim custody by filing an affidavit for parentage or revoke the paternity through a court order. You can find more about this topic on our webpage. 

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