Can a Parent’s Physical Health Affect Child Custody Arrangements?
Child custody proceedings in Michigan can be complicated. Judges must weigh many factors before issuing a final ruling on child custody arrangements. As such, the courts can probe many aspects of your personal life.
Though it may seem like an invasion of privacy, Michigan courts are concerned with your child’s best interests. If you’re a parent suffering from a physical health condition, you should know how a judge may consider this when ruling on custody rights.
Key Factors for Child Custody in Michigan
Regarding custody decisions, Michigan’s Child Custody Act lays out 12 distinct factors that courts must consider before a final ruling. Some of these elements include:
- Love and affection of parents
- The reasonable preference of the child
- The moral fitness of parents
- Home and school life
- Basic needs like food, clothing, and medical care
- Stability and permanence of the family home
One of the most scrutinized factors deals with the “mental and physical health of the parties involved.” As such, courts can weigh out a parent’s health condition that may impact the child’s daily life.
Millions of parents with physical health challenges raise children successfully. Even if you suffer from a health condition, this does not mean that the court will automatically rule against you in a custody case.
Physical Conditions and Child Custody
Fortunately, since 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act has required courts to make reasonable accommodations for parents who suffer from debilitating conditions. Failure of the courts to abide by federal discrimination statutes is against the law.
However, if you suffer from any physical health condition, you should be prepared to present mitigating evidence to the courts, including:
- Proof of accommodation that allows you to perform your parental duties
- Medical records to clear your medical condition
- Expert witness testimony
- Declaration or testimony from medical providers
- Evidence of treatment, rehabilitation, or recovery
Although the courts will review any evidence you submit to support your ability to parent, they may also ask additional questions regarding your condition.
The court’s ultimate goal is to determine whether your health concerns may affect your child’s well-being. Other questions the court may pose include the following:
- Frequency of your treatment, including doctor visits
- If your medication or treatment has any adverse effects
- How your physical condition affects the parent-child relationship
- If there are any imminent threats or dangers to the child
Each custody case in Michigan will present a unique set of facts and circumstances. The courts must make an informed and fair decision whenever physical illness is used in determining parental ability.
If you’re entering child custody proceedings with a health condition, you should consult with an experienced family law attorney. A child custody lawyer can review your situation and determine the best course of action.
Child Custody Lawyers in Oakland County
Gucciardo Family Law represents clients in child custody cases throughout Oakland County. Call us today for a free consultation. Our dedicated family law attorneys can help protect your health condition in a child custody case.
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