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Parenting schedules may need to change as children grow up

Parents often make schedules when they get divorced, basing them on the children's needs at that current age. It is important for them to realize that these needs may change over time. Even if the parents feel like essentially the same people 10 years in the future, their children may feel like very different people indeed.

For instance, one couple split up when their daughter was just 3-years-old. Their plan had her moving back and forth between both houses so that they could each see her. On the whole, her parents tended to get along even after the divorce, so this plan worked very well.

By the time their daughter turned 12, though, her life had gotten much different. She talked to her parents and told them that she just wanted to live with her mom, not with her dad.

This did not mean that she didn't love her father. She did. She still wanted to see him and spend time with him. However, as she grew up and life got more complicated, she really did not enjoy constantly moving between two homes. She wanted that to change.

Her parents resisted it at first, just telling her to stick to what they had figured out a decade before, but they eventually came around when they realized that their daughter knew what was in her own best interests.

This does not mean kids should always make adult decisions, but it shows how it is important to take changing lives into account. As you and your ex work through the child custody process, make sure you both know exactly what legal rights you have.

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