How is Child Support Calculated?

A.  Michigan has a formula that is set based on a variety of factors
including the incomes and education levels of both parents and it is
set based on that calculation.

What is Legal Custody?

A. Legal custody is the ability of the parent to have say in the major
issues of the child's life such as medical treatment and education.  
Most cases grant this as Joint allowing for both parents to weigh in on
the major decisions of the child.

What is Physical Custody?

A. When the parents have the child in their residence and are solely
responsible for the day to day decisions for the child.  This can be
granted either Joint or Sole.

How is Custody Decided if not Agreed Upon?

A.  When the court sets out to determine custodial and visitation
rights, the issue at hand is the "best interests" of the child.

Below is a partial list of factors taken into consideration. It is ultimately
up to the court to decide what weight is to be given to each factor.

Emotional Ties

Who does the child speak to when they have a problem? When they
have a success?
Who has the child bonded with to a greater degree? To whom does
the child show open signs of affection?
Who spends more time with the child?

Capacity to Raise the Child

Who bathes and dresses the child? Who stays at home when the
child is sick?
Who takes responsibility for the child's academic and extracurricular
activities?
Who disciplines the child in the most appropriate manner?

Capacity to Provide for the Child

Who makes more money? Has more job security?
Who makes purchases for the child? Who takes the child to medical
and dental appointments?
Who can provide insurance for the child?
Moral Fitness

Has either parent had an extramarital affair known by the children?
Has either parent engaged in verbal abuse of the child? Physical or
sexual abuse?
Does either parent have a drinking problem? Poor driving record?
Other questionable behaviors?

Child's School and Community Activity

Who can provide leadership to aid the child in academic and
extracurricular pursuits?
Who is more actively involved in school conferences and the child's
extracurricular activities?
Who can assure that the child has friends and peers conducive to the
child's development?

Other Factors

Can either parent provide a safer environment? Greater continuity in
the child's life?
Does either parent have a physical or mental problem that would
interfere with child-raising?
Does either parent have a record of domestic violence?
Whom does the child prefer? Is the child mature enough that his or
her preference should be substantially weighted?
THE LAW OFFICES OF
CULLEN P. GEISLER PLLC
Michigan Child Support and Child Custody FAQ
28175 Haggerty Novi, Michigan (248) 488-8623