Continuing with the "best interests of the child" criteria in Michigan law, the second factor, or factor (b) reads: "the capacity and disposition of the parties involved to give the child love, affection, and guidance and to continue the education and raising of the child in his or her religion or creed, if any".
Capacity is defined as "the ability to perform or produce", while disposition is defined as "the power or ability to control, direct, dispose", or "one's usual mood temperament".
An average person would likely read this to mean that, in the parent under question, their usual "temperament" would be to show to their child love, affection, and give them proper guidance. Sounds good, doesn't it?
The problem is, attorneys and judges can twist this to their own liking. The average custody hearing lasts less than one hour of actual litigating and testimony. In that time, the judge will hear false accusations and misleading allegations mixed in with some of the truths. The attorneys and judges DON'T know you or your kids, and they don't want to. They want to rush you through the system, with the usual predetermined results. More on all of that yet to come.
Referring back to my personal matter-if anyone could have seen the looks on the faces of my daughters, after their school musical, when they saw the blank, uninterested look on their mom's face. Her body language, and her words, expressed that she could not care less what, or how, they performed in the musical.
I believe that it is essential to promote a child's feeling of self-esteem, and build up their self-confidence. My daughters were literally bouncing off the walls and jumping for joy after their performance, and after my words of praise for them. Within seconds of being back with their mom, their feet shuffled, and the glee was gone.
The judge in our case figured my ex-wife, and myself, "equals" as far as factor (b) is concerned.
A Father of Two
Think Michigan Child Custody Determinations Are Fair? Think again!