HB 4141, sponsored by Rep. Runestad (R-White Lake) received a hearing before the House Families, Children and Seniors committee in September. This bill would enact a mandatory joint physical and legal custody arrangement unless, by clear and convincing evidence, a parent can prove the other parent “unfit, unwilling or unable to care for the child.” Before the hearing,
Basically there is movement in the State to presume joint physical and legal custody of children. This is in line with efforts to presume and promote co-parenting of children. I counsel clients to focus on how many overnights per week, per year etc. they want or agree that the other parent can have and not focus on what the custody arrangement is called. Certainly provisions of legal and physical custody whether sole or joint can have important legal implications but generally the number of overnights exercised by a parent determines child support and of course the quality and quantity of time spent with your kids.