Michigan law provides for legal custody and physical custody. Joint legal custody is very common. This provides that both parties will discuss and decide major decisions for the children. Disagreements will be resolved by the courts. Physical custody determines where the children will primarily reside. Typically teh children will primarily reside with one parent (having the majority of overnights).

The courts typically look at the past practices of the parties to determine who is the primary caregiver of the children. The parimary caregive will typically have primary custody of the children.

Michigan child custody is determined by what is in the best interest of the child. Michigan law states that the best interest of the child means the sum total of the following factors to be considered, evaluated, and determined by the court. These factors are his follows:

A. The love and affection and other emotional ties between the parties involved and the child.

B. Capacity and disposition of the parties involved to give the child love, affection, and guidance and continuation of the educating and raising of a child in a particular religion or creed.

C. Capacity and disposition of the parties involved to provide the child with the necessities of life.

D. The length of time the child has lived in a stable and satisfactory environment.

E. The performance, as a family unit, or the existence or proposed custodial home.

F. The moral fitness of the parties.

G. The mental and physical health of the parties.

H. The home, school, and community record of the child.

I. The reasonable preference of the child, if the court determines the child is of sufficient age to express a preference.

J. The willingness and abilities of each party to facilitate encourage a continuing relationship between child and the other parent.
Domestic violence.

K. Any other factors that the court considered to be relevant in a particular case.

The court does not have to weigh these factors equally. In a number of cases, one or two particular factors can overshadow the other factors. The court can find that there is no preference toward one party or the other on a particular factor and base a child custody case on one party receiving a preference on only one factor.

If one of the parties has an established a custodial environment for a child then it is the burden of the noncustodial parent to establish, by clear and convincing evidence, that child custody should be changed. This is an extremely difficult burden. If neither or both parties have established a custodial environment then the court will award custody based upon the best interest of the child.

The preference of a child becomes more and more of an important factor as the child gets older. Generally, the court will start considering a child’s preference at age 8 and will give their preference great consideration at age 14 or 15.

Child custody is a complicated area of domestic relations law. The specific facts and circumstances of a case can greatly change the outcome of a case. A person should not attempt to handle a custody case without the assistance of an attorney. You should retain the assistance of an attorney who has handled child custody matters in the past and has experience in the field of domestic relations.

Grand Rapids Divorce Attorneys


If you are facing a child custody dispute, a good child custody attorney is not optional, it is a requirement! Our child custody attorneys can answer your questions with straight talk. Having the right child custody attorney on your side can relieve your stress during this difficult situation. Our attorneys have over 85 years of child custody experience. Our attorneys have extensive child custody trial experience. Typical fees to retain attorney for a child custody case can range and from 1,500 dollars to as high as 5000 dollars. Considering the seriousness of this life changing event, it is extremely important to retain the services of an experienced attorney in the area of child custody.

Krupp Law Offices P.C. is located in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan and has the right divorce attorney for you. We represent clients in child custody matters throughout West Michigan, including the cities of Grand Rapids, Holland, and Grand Haven, and the counties of Kent, Ottawa, Allegan, Barry, Newaygo, Montcalm, Muskegon, and Ionia.

Call for a free phone consultation. Our office can help.


161 Ottawa NW Suite 404

Grand Rapids MI 49503

616-459-6636 or mail@krupplaw.com

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