Raising children is not an easy task for parents in Michigan. There are many important decisions that parents need to make for their children in addition to meeting their daily needs. Making the job even more difficult, children’s needs change as they grow older. Children’s needs when they are three years old are much different than when they are 16 years old. This means that parents need to continually adapt to the children’s changing needs.
When parents are married, how they care for their children may depend on the circumstances, but only the parents have a say in the decision. If they are divorced, there may be a custody order in place which dictates which parent will make the decisions, when each parent will have the children in their care and other important aspects of parenting. Some of the custody orders will be put in place when the children are very young though and as the children’s needs change over the years, the parents may need to modify the custody orders.
Requirements for a modification
In order to change the orders, unless the parents agree to the change, one parent will need to ask the court to change the order. In order to do this the parent seeking a modification will need to demonstrate that there is a change in the custodial environment since the time the previous order was issued and that the proposed changes to the order are in the best interests of the children.
The custodial environment is considered the environment that the children have become accustomed to and where they go to seek guidance. Factors to establish this include the physical environment, the age of the children, wishes of the children and parents as well as other relevant factors.
Both parents’ and children’s lives in Michigan change over the years. What may have been in the best interests of the children at the time of a divorce may no longer be in the best interests of the children. Modifications to custody orders may be necessary. These are very fact-specific matters though and whether a modification will be granted depends on the facts of each situation. Experienced attorneys understand these complicated matters and may be able to guide one through the process.