Child custody issues are frequently at the center of legal battles in divorce proceedings. For courts, the top priority is the best interests of the child, and judges generally aim for time sharing plans which allow both parents to remain active in their child’s life. There are situations where custody orders have failed to take into consideration all of the relevant information, as well as cases where changes in circumstances necessitate a change in the order. Depending on the situation, a child custody modification may be your best option to protect your child as well as your rights as a parent.
Changes to Your Existing Child Custody Order
Under the Michigan Revised Statutes, the law allows for changes in the plans concerning care, custody, maintenance, and support of children after an original child custody and support order has been issued. These are more likely to be granted when there are significant changes in the circumstances of the parent or the child, or when new evidence comes to light that was not disclosed in previous hearings. This may include:
- Issues concerning either parent’s physical or emotional health and their ability to provide for the child’s needs;
- Changes in living situations and where each parent and the child resides;
- Changes in work or school schedules which may interfere with caring for the child;
- Evidence that the child is doing poorly under the existing child custody arrangement;
- Evidence that the existing custody plans may be putting the child’s health or well being in jeopardy.
Gathering Evidence in Support of Your Case
In addition to presenting copies of your previous parenting plan and your existing order, there are a variety of child custody modification forms that must be filled out and court procedures that must be followed. As part of your motion to modify the existing order, you will need to outline the specific reasons for the changes and provide notice to the other parent. Evidence that can help support your claim includes:
- Statements from your child’s teacher or school administrators;
- Statements from doctors or any therapists your child may be seeing;
- Statements from employers, family members, and friends regarding the circumstances;
- Evidence, such as phone calls, letters, emails, and police reports.
Getting a court order changed is not easy, which is why it is so important to have an experienced Michigan child custody attorney on your side throughout each step of this process. Call or contact Iafrate & Salassa, P.C. online today to request a free consultation in our office. We act as a strong legal advocate on your behalf, to help you get the most successful results in your case.