722.23 "Best interests of the child" defined. Sec. 3.As used in this act, "best interests of the child" means the sum total of the following factors to be considered, evaluated, and determined by the court:(a) The love, affection, and other emotional ties existing between the parties involved and the child.(b) The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to give the child love, affection, and guidance and to continue the education and raising of the child in his or her religion or creed, if any.(c) The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care or other remedial care recognized and permitted under the laws of this state in place of medical care, and other material needs.(d) The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment, and the desirability of maintaining continuity.(e) The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home or homes.(f) The moral fitness of the parties involved.(g) The mental and physical health of the parties involved.(h) The home, school, and community record of the child.(i) The reasonable preference of the child, if the court considers the child to be of sufficient age to express preference.(j) The willingness and ability of each of the parties to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent or the child and the parents.(k) Domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against or witnessed by the child.(l) Any other factor considered by the court to be relevant to a particular child custody dispute.
History: 1970, Act 91, Eff. Apr. 1, 1971 ;-- Am. 1980, Act 434, Imd. Eff. Jan. 14, 1981 ;-- Am. 1993, Act 259, Imd. Eff. Nov. 29, 1993Â© 2007 Legislative Council, State of Michigan.
This issue is the most emotional and traumatic for you in most divorce cases. There is sole custody, joint custody, shared custody, legal custody versus primary physical custody, and many other forms. The basis for determining child custody is "what is in the best interests of the child." Due to the extensive nature of custody disputes and the laws involved, this subject is best left to an in-depth discussion with your attorney. . A parent involved in a child custody matter should become acquainted with the Child Custody Act of 1970, and study and be prepared to give their reasons for wanting custody pursuant to the above factor. Your decisions regarding your children should be left to their parents. They are best suited to protect their children's best interest.
When there are custody disputes, the parents must be advised as to joint custody: