• Blog >
  • When Can a Parent’s Behavior Affect Child Custody in Michigan?
Michigan Child Custody Attorneys

When Can a Parent’s Behavior Affect Child Custody in Michigan?

When divorcing or separating parents cannot come to an agreement about where children should live or how they should be raised, the court makes a decision on custody. Among the factors that play an important role in the court’s decision are the behavior and actions of each parent. Parental behavior is also considered if either parent asks for a modification of the original custody order.

In every child custody case, Michigan courts prioritize the best interests of the children. Though courts prefer that a child be allowed to spend regular quality time with each parent, such arrangements are not always possible or advisable. If you are seeking custody of your child, you should be aware that the court’s decision will be influenced by your:

  • Parental commitment — The court will want to see that you have shown an interest in your child’s life, such as by attending their extracurricular activities, knowing the names of their friends, being aware of their schedule and showing up when you say you will.
  • Treatment of your child — Any history of child abuse or neglect can result in a denial of custody, with only supervised visitation or no visitation.
  • Treatment of your ex — Demonstrating that you can get along with your child’s other parent can give the court confidence in your ability to co-parent without disrupting your child’s life. Frequent arguments with your ex or a history of domestic violence will likely hurt your case if you were the aggressor.
  • Home environment — Putting in place appropriate safety measures, having a comfortable place for your child to sleep and encouraging positive behaviors are all actions that a court will see as promoting your child’s best interests.
  • Location — Generally, a court prefers to allow children to live in the area where they have friends, go to school and are part of the community. Moving far away from the child’s other parent may be seen as an unwillingness to cooperate or as a disruption to the child’s life and well-being.

With offices in St. Clair Shores and Rochester Hills, the Michigan family law attorneys of Shatzman & Shatzman represent divorcing and separated parents during child custody battles and petitions for modifications. We practice in Shelby Township, Chesterfield Township and the surrounding areas. To schedule a legal consultation with one of our child custody lawyers, call 586-800-3018 or contact us online.