While custody and parenting time are issues decided in a divorce with minor children, a custody action is also appropriate when parties share a child and do not reside together. There are several factors that the court will consider when deciding the best custody arrangement for your children. These are the Best Interests Factors (Michigan Legislature - Section 722.23).
Legal custody refers to the decision-making power granted to one parent or jointly to both parents. The court prefers granting joint legal custody to both parents as long as they are able to effectively co-parent in making those important legal decisions. However, joint legal custody may not be appropriate where there has been a history of domestic abuse between the parents.
Physical custody refers to the ongoing living arrangement of the children. The court may grant one parent primary physical custody of the children, or the court can find that the children should reside a relatively equal amount of time with each parent and grant them joint physical custody of the children.