Garton & Vogt
Does Your Child Get a Say in Your Custody Arrangement?
Many families in Michigan go through hard times once in a while. Sometimes these things blow over, but in other cases, they can prove to be the final straw. If you and your partner are no longer happy together, it may be time to go your separate ways. After all, it is unhealthy to remain in a situation where you are uncomfortable or unhappy. Furthermore, if there is bad feeling between you and your partner, this could even cause distress to your children.
Of course, many parents worry about separation or divorce because they fear the consequences of a custody dispute. It can be difficult to accept that you may need to share your child's time with their other parent, but it is important to remember that it is for the benefit of your child. If you are able to come to an agreement with your partner on how parenting time will be split, this can speed up the process.
However, if no agreement is reached, the decision will go to the family law court. In this case, the court will need to determine a viable arrangement that is best-suited to the needs of the child. Factors that are considered include financial stability and whether you or the other parent held the role of primary caregiver.
As this article on family law mentions, your child's preference can also influence the custody decision, providing that he or she is deemed to be old enough to have and express a reasonable opinion on the matter. However, the primary deciding factor is your child's best interest as perceived by the court. As such, the support of an attorney can be beneficial as he or she may be able to help you work with the court to produce a custody arrangement that best caters to your needs, as well as your child's safety, happiness and general well-being.