Full Custody in Michigan: What You Need to Know

Child custody disputes can be complicated and emotional battles. In Michigan, as with most states, the court’s priority is the best interests of the child. One of the most contentious issues in child custody cases is full custody. If you are a parent seeking custody in Michigan, you will want to understand the ins and outs of full custody and how it works in the state.

Child custody arrangements can be a confusing and overwhelming process, especially for parents who are not familiar with the legal system. In Michigan, there are several types of custody arrangements, including full custody.

In this blog post, we will explore the concept of full custody in Michigan.

What does full custody mean? Can a parent keep a child from the other parent without an order from the court? Do you pay child support with joint custody in Michigan? What are the differences between legal and physical custody in Michigan? Is Michigan a 50-50 custody state? At what age a child can refuse to see a parent? What do judges in Michigan look for in custody cases?

Child custody cases can be extremely complex. Determining what type of custody arrangement is best for a child can often lead to a lot of confusion and stress. If you are going through a divorce or separation and need to understand the laws in Michigan, you have come to the right place.

In this post, we’ll answer these questions and provide everything you need to know about full custody in Michigan, including how it is granted and what it means for parents and children involved in a custody dispute.

What Does Full Custody Mean In Michigan?

In Michigan, the rules surrounding custody can be complex, so it is important to have a basic understanding of what full custody means and what it entails.

Full custody in Michigan means that one parent has been granted physical and legal custody of the child without sharing with the other parent. In this case, the other parent may have limited or no parenting time and no decision-making powers regarding the child’s welfare. Full custody can be granted to one parent in situations where there is clear evidence of abuse, neglect, or some other significant factor negatively affecting the child’s well-being.

In Michigan, full custody is also known as sole legal and physical custody. It means that one parent has complete authority over the child, including the right to make all legal and physical decisions without consulting the other parent.

Sole Legal Custody

Sole legal custody refers to decision-making authority about issues like education, medical care, and religion, while sole physical custody refers to where the child lives. This type of custody arrangement is usually awarded when the court determines that it’s in the child’s best interest or when one parent is deemed unfit.

Remember, it is important to seek legal advice and representation from an experienced family law attorney who can help guide you through the entire process and ensure that your child’s best interests are protected.

What is the difference between legal and physical custody in Michigan?

There are two elements to a particular custody dispute: first, there is legal custody—the decision-making part of raising the child—and physical custody—who physically raises the child.

In Michigan, full custody is defined as having both legal and physical custody of a child. Legal custody means that the parent has the right to make important decisions about the child’s upbringing, such as their education, healthcare, and religious upbringing. Physical custody refers to where the child lives and who they spend the majority of their time with. When a parent is granted full custody, they are the sole decision-maker and caregiver for the child.

For both of these types of custody, sole or joint custody is possible. Physical custody, on the other hand, refers to where the child lives. Parents can have either joint or sole legal and physical custody.

Michigan law requires that the basis for determining custody is “the best interests of the child,” and those factors are laid out in the Child Custody Act.

Joint Custody Is The Norm In Michigan Custody Cases

There has been a recent trend in Michigan family courts to award joint custody, meaning both parents have physical custody of the child for a significant amount of the time.

As a starting point, however, it is important for all parties involved to understand that in Michigan, the child is entitled to a relationship with both parents unless that relationship is not in the child’s best interests.

Michigan courts typically award joint legal custody to both parents unless there is a compelling reason not to. However, physical custody can vary depending on the circumstances of the case, such as living arrangements, work schedules, and the child’s best interest.

Is Michigan a 50-50 child custody state?

However, Michigan is not a 50-50 custody state by law. This means there is no guarantee that parents will receive equal time with their children.

Judges are expected to weigh many factors when determining custody, including the child’s age, health, relationship with siblings or parents, environment, and other relevant factors. Ultimately, the court’s focus is always on the child’s best interest.

At what age can a child refuse to see a parent in Michigan?

In Michigan, there is no specific age that a child can refuse to see a parent. However, a child’s wishes are one factor that the court will consider when making a custody decision. The court will also consider the child’s age, maturity level, and the reasons behind the child’s refusal.

However, the child’s desires and preferences are one of many factors that the court may consider when determining custody. It is not uncommon for older children to have a say in where they would like to live, but the ultimate decision is still up to the judge, who will weigh all the best interest factors and evaluate what is best for the child.

Can a parent keep a child from the other parent without a court order in Michigan?

No, a parent cannot keep their child away from the other parent without a court order in Michigan.

Parents have equal rights to their children unless a court determines otherwise. Michigan law requires that both parents have equal access to their child, absent an order from the court stating otherwise. If one parent is withholding a child from another parent without legal authority, it is considered parental kidnapping and can have legal consequences.

If one parent refuses to allow the other parent to see the child, the non-custodial parent should file a motion with the court to enforce their visitation rights or modify custody. If the other parent continues to refuse access despite the court’s order, it is considered contempt.

It’s important to understand the different types of custody and how they may impact your family. Full custody, or sole legal and physical custody, is an option in Michigan, but it’s typically only awarded in cases where the other parent is deemed unfit. If you’re seeking full custody, you’ll need to work with an experienced family law attorney who can help you navigate the legal system and make your case effectively.

Remember, both parents typically have equal access to their child absent an order from the court, so it’s important to seek legal assistance if your custody or visitation rights are being denied.

How To Obtain Full Custody in Michigan

To get full custody in Michigan, you must file a motion with the court requesting full custody.

You must show the court that full custody is in the child’s best interest and that the other parent is unfit or unable to provide adequate care for the child. Courts typically consider a variety of factors when determining custody, including the child’s preference, each parent’s mental and physical health, and any history of abuse or neglect. It’s important to work with an experienced family law attorney who can help you make your child custody case effectively to the court.

Full custody is usually granted in situations where one parent is deemed unfit or unable to care for the child. This may be due to substance abuse, neglect, or domestic violence, among other reasons. However, the court will always consider the best interests of the child when making a custody decision. If there is evidence that one parent would provide a more stable and secure environment for the child, then full custody may be granted.

It’s essential to consult an experienced family law attorney to help you navigate this process because your child’s future may depend on it. Remember, all custody decisions are made based on the best interest of the child, so put your child’s welfare first and act accordingly.

What do judges look for in child custody cases in Michigan?

Michigan judges are required to make custody decisions based on the best interests of the child. Some factors that are considered in determining the best interests of the child include the child’s emotional ties to each parent, the ability of each parent to provide for the child’s needs, each parent’s mental and physical health, and any history of domestic violence or abuse.

Obtaining full custody in Michigan can be difficult, especially if the other parent is also seeking custody. To obtain full custody, you must prove to the court that it is in the child’s best interest to award custody to you solely.

What Kind Of Best Interest Factors Does A Judge Consider?

Best interest factors considered in determining the best interest of the child include:

1) Stability and continuity of the child’s environment.

2) Emotional ties between the child and each parent.

3) The financial and physical ability of the parents to care for the child.

4) The parent’s mental, emotional, and physical health.

5) The length of time the child has been under one parent’s care, support, and supervision.

It is important to remember that child custody cases can often be emotional and difficult for everyone involved. It is important to seek legal advice and representation from an experienced family law attorney who can help guide you through the process.

Child Support in Michigan

One commonly misunderstood, but extremely important issue related to child support in Michigan is that the right to support is the child’s, not the receiving parent’s.

Of course, the money is paid to the receiving parent. But it is for the child – the child is the person that has the right to it. This legal fact is extremely important in divorce cases in Michigan, where support issues are often a main source of conflict between parties.

Support is based mainly on the Michigan Child Support Formula, which is a formula relating to income.

A court may enter a support order that deviates from the formula if the application of the formula would be unjust or inappropriate. MCL 552.605(2).

If the court deviates from the formula, it must set forth in writing or on the record all the following:

  • the support amount determined by the child support formula
  • how the support order deviates from the child support formula
  • the value of property or other support awarded in lieu of the payment of child support, if applicable
  • reasons application of the child support formula would be unjust or inappropriate in this case

MCL 552.605(2)2021 MCSF 1.04(B).

Do You Pay Child Support With Joint Custody in Michigan?

Yes, parents may still have to pay support with joint custody in Michigan.

Child support payments are calculated based on both parents’ income, parenting time, and the number of children involved. Even if the parents have joint physical and legal custody, they usually have different income levels, which means only one parent will pay the other parent for child support. Michigan uses a set formula to calculate child support in cases where both parents share joint legal and physical custody. The formula considers the income of each parent, the number of children involved, and other factors.

This means that even if you have joint custody, you may have to pay child support if the other parent has less income or spends more time taking care of the child.

It is important to consult with an attorney to understand your obligations and rights when it comes to child support in Michigan.

 

Can parents agree to child support on their own?

The court may consider an agreement between parents, but is not bound it. Why? No parent is allowed to bargain away a child’s right to adequate support.

Many parents threaten to take away a child if support is requested, or allow the other parent to not pay so that they can “keep” the child or children. This is often a mistake, because the child is the one that is entitled to the support.

You Can’t Bargain Your Child’s Right To Support Away From Them

In fact, any attempts to put a ceiling on support for a child or children in the future are unenforceable – because the court is who ultimately decides, and does so based on the child’s best interests, not the parent’s.

If You Have Custody and Parenting Time Questions, We Are Here To Help

Navigating the child custody laws in Michigan can be a daunting task. Seeking full custody in Michigan can be a daunting task that requires considerable evidence and legal know-how – that’s where we come in!

By understanding the differences between legal and physical custody, knowing about the recent trend in joint custody awards, and the best interests of the child factors that Michigan judges consider, you are better equipped to navigate the process.

Understanding full custody in Michigan can be overwhelming, but it is important to have a basic understanding of what it is and how it works. If you are going through a child custody case, it is important to work with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process and help you navigate the courts.

We Help You Do What Is In The Best Interests of Your Children

Remember, at the end of the day, the best interests of the child always come first, and it is important to prioritize their needs and well-being above all else. At our firm, we are not only lawyers, we are also parents. We get it!

Let us help you, too.