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Types of child custody in Michigan

Divorce is a fact of life for many Michigan couples. As a part of the process, many decisions regarding assets, debts and other factors must be taken into consideration. Perhaps one of the most important decisions that must be made in many divorce proceedings are the ones regarding child custody.

There are two basic types of child custody. The first is sole custody. In this instance, one parent retains both physical and legal custody of the child. The child lives with this parent, and this parent is responsible for making the day-to-day and major decisions regarding the child and his or her daily life. The noncustodial parent may still spend time with the child during which he or she may need to make everyday or emergency decisions regarding the child.

The other type of child custody is joint custody. With joint legal custody, both parents share in the responsibility for making decisions regarding the child; this joint decision-making process does not mean that they share equal time with the child (though they may). On the other hand, joint physical custody means that both parents share time with the child; however, one parent may retain the responsibility for certain major decisions. While the child is in the physical custody of a parent, that parent is responsible for the everyday or emergency decisions regarding the child.

Child custody is an important part of many Michigan divorces. Whenever possible, parents should attempt to reach a custody agreement without need for court intervention. However, this is often not possible without experienced legal guidance.

Source: courts.mi.gov, "Custody Guideline", Accessed on March 28, 2017

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