The child custody process in Michigan focuses on the best interests of the child and it applies in situations where you and your spouse divorce or separate.
Child custody process
The process beings when one spouse files for divorce in the court in the county where you or your spouse reside. The court may issue a temporary child custody order and may require you and your spouse to participate in mediation.
Mediation is a process where a neutral third party can help you and your spouse agree about custody and parenting time. If you reach an agreement in mediation, you can submit it to the court for review and approval.
If you are unable to agree, the court will hold a hearing to decide on custody and parenting time for you. They will consider the relationship you and your spouse have with the child, your mental and physical health and your child’s connections with their school and community.
Your parenting plan will outline how you and your spouse will share responsibilities for your child’s upbringing. It will address whether you will have joint legal custody, meaning that you share decision-making and joint physical custody, meaning that you have shared physical time with the child, or if one parent will have sole custody.
The parenting time schedule will also list where the child will go for holidays, vacations or other special occasions, how the child’s transportation will be handled, and notice requirements if you or your spouse need to relocate, for example.
It may also include a method to resolve disputes if they arise.