How to Get Full Custody in Michigan

Petition for Child Custody

How to Get Full Custody in Michigan

Whatever your reason for wanting full custody of your child in Michigan, you can expect the process to be an uphill battle. While obtaining sole custody in a Michigan family law case is not impossible, presenting a compelling case for this request requires considerable preparation. 

Even with a Michigan family lawyer at your side, you can expect to encounter resistance from the court. Take a closer look at what it takes to get full custody in Michigan.

What Is Full Custody?

Having full custody of your child means gaining exclusive physical custody and legal custody. Exclusive physical custody refers to always having your child in your presence at all times. When you have exclusive legal custody, you are the only one who is permitted to make decisions about your child’s education, medical care, and upbringing.

Full custody, then, means having the exclusive rights and responsibilities to parent and care for your child.

Why Full Custody Is Difficult to Secure in a Michigan

It is difficult to obtain full custody in Michigan because Michigan courts must make decisions that are in the child’s best interests. Courts routinely presume that having both parents involved in raising their children is in children’s best interests. 

Unless the court is presented with compelling reasons why the other parent should play no role in raising their child, a request for full custody will generally be denied.

When a Court Would Consider Full Custody

The reasons you provide as to why a court would consider granting you full custody must demonstrate that it is contrary to your child’s best interests to allow the other parent to be around them. These reasons might include allegations that the other parent:

  • Has physically, verbally, or sexually abused children
  • Allows dangerous people around your child
  • Has neglected your child
  • Is engaged in dangerous activities, such as drug use

Keep in mind that you cannot simply claim these circumstances without proof. Instead, you would need to present objective evidence or testimony from witnesses with appropriate personal knowledge. 

For example, you may need a police officer to testify that the other adult now living with the other parent has a criminal record in order to win your motion for full custody.

The court is more likely to award you full custody where the other parent flagrantly disregards court orders meant to protect your child. For instance, suppose that the court tells the other parent that their new significant other, a convicted felon, cannot be at the house when your child is there. 

If the other parent continues to allow this person to be at home with your child present, then the court will likely seriously consider a request for full custody.

Renew Your Request for Full Custody Often

If your initial motion for full custody is not granted, do not despair. Whether you are seeking full custody in Northville, Canton, or Ann Arbor, you can always renew your request for full custody if new information comes to light. This is where qualified legal guidance is crucial.

By making strategic recommendations and gathering key evidence in support of your position, a seasoned Michigan family lawyer can play a vital role in your fight to secure full custody.

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