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Because it is generally in the child's best interest to have a strong, meaningful relationship with each parent, the noncustodial parent will usually have a right to parenting time. The Michigan Parenting Time Guideline is an informative document to assist parents in crafting their own parenting time schedule. Individual counties may also have their own parenting time guidelines. If there are extenuating circumstances such as drug or alcohol problems, supervised parenting time might be required for the parent with the problem.


In situations where the parents cannot agree on a parenting time schedule, the courts will look to the Michigan Child Custody Act which sets forth certain factors that must be considered for best interest of the children. Generally, parenting time disputes are initially referred to the Friend of the Court for investigation and recommendation. The Friend of the Court recommendation is not binding and the parents have the right to be heard by the court on any objections to the recommendation.


FACTORS USED BY MICHIGAN COURTS FOR CUSTODY


The best interests of the child factors to be considered, evaluated, and determined by the Court are as follows:


  • The love, affection, and other emotional ties existing between the parties involved and the child.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment, and the desirability of maintaining continuity.
  • The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home or homes.
  • The moral fitness of the parties involved.
  • The mental and physical health of the parties involved.
  • The home, school, and community record of the child.
  • The reasonable preference of the child, if the court considers the child to be of sufficient age to express preference.
  • 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.
  • Domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against or witnessed by the child.
  • Any other factor considered by the court to be relevant to a particular child custody dispute.

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