734-359-7018
Now Accepting New Clients!
Blog

It is presumed to be in the child's best interests to have a strong relationship with both parents.

Plaintiff-mother appeals, contesting the trial court's awarding both parties joint physical and legal custody of their child. The trial court divided parenting time equally.

Plaintiff-mother initially argues that the trial court erred in determining that an established custodial environment existed with both parents. An established custodial environment exits if over an appreciable time the child naturally looks to the custodian in that environment for guidance, discipline, the necessities of life, and parental comfort. . . considering the age of the child, the physical environment, and the inclination of the custodian and the child as to permanency of the relationship.

In this case, the trial court was presented with conflicting testimony about the involvement of the parties in the care and custody of their child. After considering the record, we agree with the trial court, which concluded that ample evidence suggested that the child looked to both parents to provide "guidance, discipline, the necessities of life, and parental comfort." MCL 722.27(1)(c). Although the parties had disparate views on defendant-father's involvement in the child's life prior to the parties' separation, there is evidence showing that the child was cared for by both parents during the child's first three months. Plaintiff cared for the child while defendant worked, but when home, defendant helped prepare meals, played with the child, and changed his diapers. After the separation, defendant quickly filed an emergency motion because plaintiff was not allowing him to see the child. Defendant consistently exercised his parenting time established by the order resulting from his emergency motion. Defendant testified that the child was attached to both plaintiff and himself, and a Child Protective Services worker testified that defendant was very attentive and interactive with the child during parenting time. The testimony also established that defendant's home provided an appropriate environment for the child. A psychologist that tested both parents, opined that defendant is "an appropriate, warm, nurturing, appropriate caregiver."

The best interest factors relevant to this appeal are:

(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.

(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. [MCL 722.23.]

It is presumed to be in the best interests of a child for the child to have a strong relationship with both of his or her parents.

Given the trial court's determination on the best interest factors, which were not erroneous and most of which favored defendant, plaintiff has failed to show that the trial court's ultimate decision was an abuse of discretion.

If you are going through a divorce or are separating from the mother or father of your children, it is important to protect your custodial rights. If the divorce or separation process does not turn out like you thought it would, you may not have the custody, visitation or child support you deserve. Seek the advice and guidance of an experienced family law and divorce attorney who will be by your side every step of the way.

Choosing the right executor for an estate

When people are thinking about planning their estate, they often think about trying to minimize the estate tax, keeping their will updated, and keeping items out of probate court; however, there is another important issue that people need to think...

Is an IRA marital property subject to division?

Plaintiff, age 67 at the time of divorce, and defendant, age 59 at the time of divorce, were married for 23 years. The judgment of divorce provides for a division of property. Defendant appeals arguing that the trial court erred in determining the...

Digital assets and estate planning

Since the first smartphones were introduced nearly a decade ago, there has been a gradual shift from widespread use of traditional paper documents to digital documents. If you need proof, consider that most people have plane tickets on their phones,...

Child Support Modification

Plaintiff sought an increase in child support, claiming the defendant-father's income had increased substantially, which constituted a change in circumstances. In July 2015, plaintiff filed a motion to modify child support. In that motion,...

A divorce shouldn't thwart your estate planning goals

We all know that divorce is not easy, no matter how ready you may be to get out of a troubled marriage. There are certainly emotional hurdles to overcome as you move on with life, and the financial hurdles may take longer to get over than you may...

Creditor's Rights Against Estates and Trusts

The probate court denied a petition for formal proceedings. The petition further identifies the petitioner as a "creditor" of the estate and states that "Litigation against the Estate is pending." Appellee is the widow and was...

What to know about will contests

You create an estate plan to make sure your heirs and beneficiaries are taken care of in the event you are no longer able to. You may also do so to minimize the bickering and infighting that may come between surviving family members who may have...

Why the disdain for the estate tax

With the federal income tax filing deadline coming this week, it is a good time to talk about taxes and how they may apply to estates. While federal estate tax applies to few estates (i.e. those valued at more than $3.5 million), it continues to be...

Should you get your criminal record expunged?

If you have been convicted of a crime, have served your sentence, and have followed all court recommendations, you should be able to put your past behind you and move on with life. Moving forward is critical given the stigma against...

Should college students have wills?

If your child is getting ready to graduate from high school this spring, you are probably amazed with how quickly the years have gone by since they first started kindergarten. This also means that you are getting older too, and you have probably...

Considerations in evaluating the prosecution's case

If you have been charged with a crime, it is essential to know how strong the government’s case is against you. Indeed, you may think the state has a flimsy case and has a snowball’s chance to prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,...

The benefits of home health care providers

While the Affordable Health Care Act is poised to be amended or replaced completely, the law still has a number of useful provisions that some legislators are uncomfortable parting with. For instance, the current version allows states to create...

What to know about bail conditions

If you have been arrested and are being held on the suspicion that you have committed a particular crime, chances are that the only thing you are thinking about is getting out of jail as soon as possible and proving your innocence. Under state and...

More spent on aging parents than on raising children

Much has been reported on the escalating costs parents face in raising a child. From birth to age 18, it is estimated that parents spend an average of $234,000 to raise a child. But when it comes to caring for an elderly parent, the costs are...

Trial court enters divorce default judgment.

Plaintiff filed divorce action after a nearly 20-year marriage. Although defendant apparently participated in various pretrial conferences and discussed the terms of the divorce judgment, he did not answer the complaint, a default was entered, and...

Don't let a bad decision, unfair contract, or a messy divorce get in the way of a promising future!
Contact the experienced team at Aldrich Legal Services today to schedule your free initial
consultation
and secure reliable and trustworthy representation today!
Get the Help You Need From a Team You Can Truly Count On: (734) 404-3000
734-237-6482
734-366-4405