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How Do Michigan Family Courts Decide Child Custody for Adopted Children in a Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

Oakland County Divorce LawyerWhen a married couple with a child decides to end their marriage, the courts must decide how parenting time and custody will be divided between the two parents. There is no difference in how these decisions are made based on whether the child is the couple’s biological child or was adopted. If you are considering or have decided to divorce and have any adopted children who are minors, it is important to consult with an Oakland County divorce attorney to find out what all your legal options and potential issues may be.

How Do Courts Decide Custody?

When a family court judge is determining a child custody case, that decision will always be made based on what is in the best interest of the child. The judge could decide the parents should both share joint legal custody or only one parent should have sole legal custody. Physical custody, or parenting time, could be shared 50/50 between both parents or the judge could decide the child will live primarily with one parent and have visitation with the other.

If the couple’s child was adopted, the court will still use the same set of criteria to decide custody. In most cases, family court judges believe that joint custody is in the child’s best interest. Having both parents play an integral role in their life leads to a decrease in the odds that a child will develop learning or behavioral issues. While this is usually true for all children (as long as both parents are deemed fit by the court), it can be especially crucial for adopted children who have higher risks of struggling with these issues even in two-parent homes.  

Some of the factors the court will consider when deciding how custody should be divided includes:

  • Which parent has been the primary caretaker for the child?

  • What are the work schedules of each parent?

  • What are the emotional and physical health conditions of each parent?

  • What kind of relationships does the child have with siblings and/or other family members?

  • How has the child adjusted to their home, school, and the community they currently reside in?

  • If the child is old enough, what is their preference?

  • Are there any issues of substance abuse, domestic violence, or felony criminal records for either parent?

Contact a Farmington Hills Family Attorney

Some adoptive parents worry that if they are getting a divorce, they could risk having their child taken away. Be reassured that the custody laws are no different in Michigan for children, biological or adopted. In order to ensure you are awarded the custody and parenting time that you should have and that your parental rights are protected during and after your divorce, call Elkouri Heath, PLC at 248-344-9700 to schedule a free consultation with one of our dedicated Novi, MI divorce attorneys.




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