There are several types of custody arrangements in Michigan; there is sole physical custody, primary physical custody, joint physical custody, sole legal custody, joint legal custody and many forms of parenting time. Each form of custody provides for a different legal relationship between the parties.
Sole physical custody generally denotes that one party or the other will have most if not all the parenting time with the children. Joint physical custody means generally that the parties are sharing the parenting time with the minor children, but not necessarily 50/50. Sole legal custody means that one parent has the ability to solely make decisions for the minors well-being, and if there is no parenting time order in place (where the parties or not married) the party with sole legal custody can even move from the state without the permission of the other. Most orders of filiation entered or issued upon the birth of child, where the parents are not married, gives the mother sole physical custody, so if the father wants to change that he must file a petition to order a change as quickly as possible.