In general, there are two types of child custody that are physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody determines with whom the child lives and who is responsible for the everyday care of the child, and legal custody means the decision-making power of the parent(s). Both legal and physical custody can be awarded to the one or both parents; however, in Michigan, joint custody arrangements are typically encouraged. If this is not appropriate in a particular case, the court will appoint a primary guardian basing on the best interests of the child.
When deciding child custody, the judge will consider the emotional connection between the child and the parents, the ability of each parent to give a child education, sufficient care, and to meet his/her basic needs, the mental and physical condition of parents, the history of domestic violence if any, and any other factors the court finds important.