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Understanding legal child custody in Michigan

Being a parent is hard. A parent is expected and required to provide their child with their basic needs, such as food, shelter, and clothing. They must also give their child intangible love, care, and support to help them grow both emotionally and physically. Accomplishing this with the help of a spouse or committed co-parent can be difficult, and doing it after divorce can be even more challenging.

When two Michigan parents split up they will be subject to a child custody agreement or order that dictates how they will work together to raise their shared child or children. Previously this family law blog talked about physical custody, and in this post the topic of legal custody will be addressed. Readers should always talk to their own attorneys, though, about their specific legal needs as this post should not be used as legal advice.

Legal custody addresses a parent's rights and requirements in terms of how decisions about their child's care are managed. If a parent is a legal custodial of their child then their opinions and preferences regarding their child's upbringing should be factored into the big decisions that must be made about their rearing. Important topics like education, religion, and health care are all within the purview of parents with legal custody.

It is important for readers to know that a parent may have legal custody of their child but not physical custody. These two forms of child custody can be split and when courts do split them it is in an effort to protect the child's or children's best interests. Family law matters like custody can be complicated and support from legal professionals can help parents better understand the topic of legal custody.

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