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Michigan Child Custody & Michigan Child Support

UPDATED: February 26, 2020

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Michigan courts seek custody, visitation and support arrangements that are in the best interests of the child or children, taking into consideration all of the factors surrounding each particular family. Courts prefer that parents seek agreement on custody, visitation and support issues, but will step in if parents cannot agree. Following are the laws governing Michigan child custody and support.

Michigan Child Custody:

Michigan courts will do everything possible to lessen the emotional impact on children of divorcing parents. If the parents dispute custody, the courts will decide, basing the decision on the best interests of the child or children. The factors the court will consider include:
1) Love, affection, and other emotional ties,
2) Capacity and disposition to give the child love, affection, and guidance,
3) Capacity and disposition to provide for the child’s material needs,
4) Length of time the child has lived in an environment,
5) The permanence of the existing or proposed custodial home,
6) Moral fitness,
7) Mental and physical health,
8) Home, school, and community record of the child,
9) Reasonable preference of the child,
10) Willingness to encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship with other parent,
11) Domestic violence,
12) Any other relevant factors.

Michigan Child Support:

Child support in Michigan is determined in accordance with the Income Shares Model for child support, where each parent's income is considered in relative proportion. The support amounts calculated from each parent then help decide which parent must pay the other in order to maintain the correct proportion and provide for the needs of the child.

These guidelines are not always followed, but a decision to follow a different standard will require supportive evidence showing 1) all the factors that affect the parties financial obligations differently, and 2) how applying a standard other than the Income Shares Model will more effectively preserve the best interests of the child.

The factors that can be considered here are numerous, and include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Pre-dissolution or pre-separation standard of living that the child enjoyed
  2. Monetary support provided for other family members
  3. Debts arising during the marriage for the child's benefit
  4. Imputed income to a party who is voluntarily unemployed for the child's benefit
  5. Court-ordered payments for health care and education for the child's benefit
  6. Children's independent financial resources, if any
  7. Education, training, and/or career opportunities of the parties and/or ability to pursue those things

A lawyer can help you sort through your rights and responsibilities when it comes to childrearing after a divorce, and serve as your advocate and/or counsel when negotiating a parenting agreement. You can find a lawyer at:

Michigan Divorce/Child Support/Child Custody Lawyers:
Find an experienced Michigan Divorce Attorney at
Find an experienced Michigan Child Support/Custody Lawyer at
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