Although family courts in Michigan have traditionally viewed mothers as the best custodial parents for children, modern law recognizes the parental rights of fathers and mothers equally. Men might still encounter prejudice when they pursue custody of their children, but preparation for court and avoiding confrontations with mothers may help produce a fair outcome in family court.

Because courts hear plenty of conflicting statements from feuding parents, judges could respond favorably to documentation about relationships between fathers and children. A father might present records of visits with children along with financial statements that show money paid toward the children’s expenses. When questioned by a judge, a father should make detailed responses about his relationship with the children. Judges place value on the nature of parental relationships, and they are watchful for warning signs about weak bonds or hostility.

Although emotions run high during custody disputes, fathers should avoid drama like confrontations with their estranged partners or physically taking the children. A man who moves in with a new partner during a custody battle might also sow discord.

Unique family circumstances factor into every child custody decision. A person who needs to establish custody or modify an existing agreement may gain support from an attorney. After evaluating the situation, an attorney may be able to develop a strategy that represents the best interests of the children and present it clearly during a custody hearing. An attorney might collect information that illustrates the parent-child bond and obtain records like police reports about the other parent that might be relevant to the custody decision. An attorney may also submit financial records that show the person’s ability to provide for children.