fbpx

Why is the established custodial environment so important in Michigan child custody cases?

The established custodial environment.

Under Michigan child custody law, the established custodial environment is the parent a child naturally looks to for guidance, discipline, the necessities of life, and parental comfort.  The law defining the established custodial environment is Michigan Compiled Laws, section 722.27.

Why is the established custodial environment so important?

The established custodial environment is important in Michigan custody cases because a court cannot issue a new child custody order, modify or amend a previous child custody judgment or order that would change the established custodial environment of a child unless there is clear and convincing evidence that it is in the best interest of the child.

The different burden’s of proof.

Burden of proof is an obligation to prove your claims with evidence.  Michigan divorce and custody courts apply different burdens of proof depending on the circumstances.  Different burden’s of proof require more or less evidence to support a claim.  For an established custodial environment court’s use the preponderance of the evidence burden of proof and the clear and convincing evidence burden of proof.  Preponderance of the evidence requires less evidence to prove a claim than clear and convincing evidence.

  • Clear and convincing evidence: requires evidence that the claim is very highly probable and;
  • Preponderance of the evidence requires evidence that the claim is more likely than not.  

An established custodial environment can be with one parent, both parents or neither parent.

  • One parent established custodial environment.  If there is an established custodial environment with one parent (the child looks for guidance, discipline, the necessities of life, and parental comfort from one parent), the legislature does not want to disrupt or change the custody arrangement unless there is clear and convincing evidence.
  • Two parent established custodial environment.  If there is an established custodial environment with both parents (the child looks for guidance, discipline, the necessities of life, and parental comfort from both parents), the legislature does not want to disrupt or change the custody arrangement unless there is clear and convincing evidence.
  • No established custodial environment.  If there is no established custodial environment, the legislature makes it easier to change the custody arrangement by using a preponderance of the evidence burden of proof.

Other Factors in the established custodial environment

The established custodial environment statute also provides that the age of the child, the physical environment and the permanency of the relationship with the parent shall also be considered in determining if an established custodial environment exists.

The child’s standpoint defines the established custodial environment.

It is important to understand that the established custodial environment is determined from the child’s standpoint.  This was made clear in the Michigan Supreme Court case of Pierron v. Pierron, 486 Mich 81 (2010) provides that it is the child’s standpoint, rather than that of the parents, that is controlling in determining the established custodial environment.

Understanding the established custodial environment and the different burden’s of proof is important in preparing for any Michigan child custody case.  Whether the case is a new case or a modification of an existing child custody arrangement.

We provide more information on Michigan divorce law than anyone.

Change is rarely easy, sometimes complicated and often emotional.   Let a Michigan divorce attorney experienced in family law help you.  We utilize a team approach to focus on solutions by applying Michigan law properly.  We specialize in helping you focus on your goals, protect your property interests, manage your custody and support interest, and keep you happy in life’s most difficult circumstances.

Our commitment is to solve problems at an affordable cost. We love to settle cases, but are not afraid to fight.

We want to help you manage your situation. Let our exceptional legal team help you . . .

REQUEST A FREE CONSULTATION,DISCOVER MORE

Daniel Local: +1 (248) 399-3300 – toll free:   (877-YOUR FIRM)

After hours emergency?:  +1 (707) 968-7347

Or email me at:   Daniel@Findlinglaw.com

By:  Daniel Findling

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *