When Michigan parents file for divorce, they must address a number of important issues concerning their children. Child custody litigation can be complex and stressful, which is one of many reasons it is a good idea to learn as much about the process as possible before heading to court. It is also wise to seek legal consultation, particularly for any issue a parent does not feel equipped to handle alone.

When the court makes decisions regarding child custody, the judge overseeing a specific case typically takes multiple factors into consideration. For instance, when determining whether parents will have shared custody as opposed to one parent having sole custody, a judge will want to know how much time each parent usually spent with their children during the marriage. If the children in question are older, the judge might also want to ask their preferences.

The mental and physical health of each parent is another potentially determining. If one parent accuses the other of domestic violence or substance abuse, the court will have to determine if the evidence presented substantiates the claim. If so, the judge might award sole custody to one parent. The court may also decide to allow supervised visitation if it believes this type of agreement would be best for the children.

If a Michigan family court judge thinks a particular set of parents is able to work together peacefully, he or she will probably approve a shared child custody agreement. A concerned parent can reach out for legal support  to protect his or her rights and the children’s best interests. Even after a judge has finalized a divorce, if a legal problem arises, an experienced family law attorney can step in to help.