“The best interests of the child” is a phrase that comes up often in Michigan family law, particularly in child custody matters. Both parents need to be cognizant of what that entails as the case proceeds because it plays an integral role in how the case is decided.
According to state law, the court will consider various factors when weighing how to serve the child’s best interests and make sure they have a safe, secure environment in which to live. The parents are expected to provide nurturing and care for the child while establishing emotional ties. Parents must know how to achieve this, educate the child and raise the child based on an agreed-upon religion, if this is applicable.
There are basic needs a child has that must be met. They will need a safe place to live, clothing, medical care, school supplies and extracurricular activities. The parents are expected to put their differences aside and work together for the good of the child.
In some cases, the child will be given a say in where they will live. This can be considered if the child is old enough or determined to be of sufficient maturity to explain their preferences. If there has been domestic violence in the past, the child’s involvement – as a witness or victim – must be assessed.
Serving the child’s needs should be a priority
In many family law cases, there is a dispute over child custody. Both parents will have their own reasons for wanting to have the child live with them much of the time. Regardless of the back and forth over this issue, it is imperative to remember that the child’s needs are paramount.
That includes understanding how to serve their best interests and taking steps to achieve that objective. To reach a reasonable outcome with custody and parenting time, it is wise to be prepared and understand all areas of the law, particularly with giving the child what they need to mature and grow in a positive atmosphere.