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“Best Interest of the Child” Factors Explained

When evaluating child custody, the “Best Interest of the Child” is the overarching standard used in determining with whom custody will be granted. The courts will evaluate the 12 factors under MCL 722.33 “Best Interest of The Child” as defined in Child Custody Act of 1970. Some of these factors include:

  • The emotional bond between the child and each parent
  • The capacity of each parent to provide love and affection to the child
  • The ability of each parent to provide food, clothing and medical care to the child
  • The length of time the child has lived in a stable environment and how desirable it is to continue that
  • The moral fitness of each parent
  • The mental and physical health of each parent
  • And many more

How These Factors Affect Your Family Law Case

Parents should be prepared to explain rational for the custody arrangement proposed.

The referee or judge will review and compare all factors associated with “Best Interest of the Child” and any additional factors. These factors include:

  • The love and emotional bond between the parents and child
  • Whether the parents are able to give the child love, guidance and education, as well as a religious upbringing if applicable
  • Whether the parents are able to provide adequate food, clothing, medical care and other necessary material needs
  • How long the child has lived in a stable environment
  • The child’s family unit and existing or proposed custodial homes
  • Each parent’s moral fitness
  • Each parent’s mental and physical health
  • The child’s home, school and community
  • The child’s preference, in some situations
  • Whether the parents are able to facilitate and continue a close parent-child relationship, as well as a healthy co-parenting relationship
  • Domestic violence
  • Any other relevant factors

Each factor is not granted equivalent weight. The courts and judge will look at different factors and weigh them accordingly, depending on the facts of each individual case. Simply because you have more of an advantage in the number of factors that are in your favor, does not guarantee a win for your case. The courts are also known for considering factors with great weight above others, such as proof of abuse.

Bahrie Law, PLLC Is Here For Your Child Custody Questions

For personalized information regarding your custody case, call Bahrie Law, PLLC at 888-473-1289.