A Michigan parent who is preparing for divorce proceedings will undoubtedly be thinking about numerous issues that pertain to his or her children. A child custody case can quickly be turned on its ear when parents disagree about what is best for their children. In some cases, a parent might file a petition requesting primary physical child custody.

Physical custody refers to where children will live after divorce. A parent who has the kids more than 50% of the time is said to be a primary custodial parent. One of the benefits of having primary physical custody is that it allows children to spend most of their time living in one household, which may help alleviate post-divorce stress. Having this type of parenting plan also means the parent with primary physical custody can spend far less time shuttling the kids back and forth for parenting plan transfers.

A potential downside to having primary physical custody of children in divorce is that it places a majority of responsibility on one parent’s shoulders. Most families go through a period of adjustment after divorce. A single parent who is trying to balance home life with employment outside the home, for instance, might find it stressful to be the primary caretaker responsible for providing for the children in their daily routines.

A Michigan parent might believe his or her children would be at risk in the custody of the other parent. This is often a legitimate reason for requesting primary physical custody. If a parent is unsure about state laws or wishes to seek advice about whether seeking this type of custody arrangement would be best in a particular set of circumstances, he or she can request a meeting with an experienced family law attorney to discuss the matter.