While A Divorce Is Pending

While a Divorce is Pending, Who Gets Custody of the Kids?

Divorce can be an arduous process and contain many complicating factors. Also, many people aren’t familiar with the procedures involved. Questions might arise regarding what can be expected during the process and after the divorce is finalized.

Of substantial concern is the welfare of the couple’s children. This is true concerning both their long-term and short-term care. In particular, many people are unsure of how custody works while a divorce is pending.

The Michigan Waiting Period

Under Michigan law, if a couple has children under the age of 18, at least 180 days must pass from the time of filing before a divorce may be finalized. Under certain circumstances, judges may use their discretion and reduce that number, but in all circumstances, at least 60 days must pass.

Temporary Arrangements By the Couple

Sometimes things go relatively smoothly and couples are able to come up with a temporary custody agreement for the interim. This agreement should consider all of the factors that a permanent agreement would, including visitation rights.

If no such agreement can be reached, the divorcing parties can see a mediator who will help them to consider all of the factors involved. Hopefully, a compromise can be reached in this fashion and a satisfactory agreement can then be arranged.

When the Judge Steps In

If the couple still fails to agree on terms, the judge can decide on a temporary custody arrangement. The details of this will be based on best interest factors concerning the child, and there are many details that the judge will take into consideration.

First of all, if the judge deems the minor old enough to make a reasonable and informed decision on a preferential custody arrangement, this will then be taken into consideration. Also coming into play are logistical factors such as which parent lives closest to the child’s school. 

Finances are another factor in the matter. Is one parent better able to provide food, medicine, and clothing? Does one have a more stable job situation? 

Not only is money a consideration, but so too is time. Will one parent be able to spend more time at home with the child?

Home life is yet another factor that the judge will consider. How has the child been treated in the past? Is one parent especially connected to the child from an emotional standpoint? Especially important factors include whether there is a history of physical or emotional abuse towards the child by one parent and also the condition of the home itself.

After weighing all of these considerations, the judge will come up with a temporary custody order that must be heeded by the divorcing couple. When the divorce is eventually finalized, the permanent custody terms will supersede those put in place temporarily. All of this is done in an effort to ensure the best possible arrangement going forward for the child.

Contact Gucciardo Law Firm at (248) 723-5190 or e-mail info@gucciardofamilylaw.com if you’d like more information regarding child custody during and after divorce proceedings.

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We focus exclusively on family law matters so we are always available to answer your questions and help.

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