Definition of Best Interest
best interest factors that the Court must consider when reviewing a motion seeking a change of custody are set forth in the Michigan Child Custody Act, Michigan Combined Laws (MCL) 722.23 as follows:
- The love, affection and other emotional ties existing between the parties involved and the child.
- The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to give the child love, affection and guidance and the continuation of the educating and raising of the child in its religion or creed, if any.
- The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care, and other remedial care recognized and permitted under the laws of this state in place of medical care, and other material needs.
- The length of time the child has lived in a stable satisfactory environment, and the desirability of maintaining continuity.
- The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home or homes.
- The moral fitness of the parties involved.
- The mental and physical health of the parties involved.
- The home, school and community record of the child.
- The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient age to express a preference.
- The willingness and ability of each of the parties to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent or the child and the parents. A court may not consider negatively for the purposes of this factor any reasonable action taken by a parent to protect a child or that parent from sexual assault or domestic violence by the child's other parent.
- Domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against, or witnessed, by the child.
- Any other factor considered by the court to be of relevance to a particular child custody dispute.