For many parents in Michigan, they have been faced with finding a new normal for their children and home life during these challenging times. For divorced or split parents, this can be even more complicated, as they are navigating through custody issues and the change in work and school environments and schedules. This alone is reason to revisit a current order and work to modify a child custody order to better meet the current situation and the best interests of the children.
Changes to a custody order
When parents establish a custody plan, they understand that it is likely not the end all. That over time, it may be necessary to adjust the order to meet the changing needs of the child or children. While no parent expected a pandemic to cause such a need, the reality is that many parents are finding it necessary to establish what will work best for everyone when it comes to living this new normal.
Regardless of why a parent or parent seeks changes, if they are coming to mutual terms to make changes, it is important to memorialize this in writing. If they are unable to go through the court to make these changes, they could work together to make these temporary changes for the length of time they see fit. At the end of the day, it helps the parents remain accountable, as it serves as a guide. This is especially true when new things come up or issues present themselves.
Negotiating an arrangement
Not everyone is impacted by the pandemic equally. Some may have to work more time away from the home, while others are required to work remotely for an extended period of time. Thus, not all parents and children are affected the same way, which could result in one parent, likely the custodial parent, to take on a larger role. This will require some form of arrangement that will acknowledge this shift in parental responsibility. In some cases, this may even cause the need to revisit other family law issues, such as child support.
At the end of the day, determining how to meet the best interests of the child in the best way possible should be the ultimate goal. This is not always easy, and parents that are co-parenting their children may find them faced with disagreements and the inability to reach a final resolution on their own. This may require legal assistance, ensuring that one’s rights are protected and a fair resolution is met.