Child Custody Modifications

Child Custody Modifications

SOLUTIONS FOR YOU

Although child custody orders are not set in stone, they can be difficult to change, as a court will usually require evidence demonstrating a change in circumstances before agreeing to modify a child custody arrangement. To learn more about whether your situation will convince a judge to change visitation or parenting time, please contact a member of our child custody legal team today.

Modification of Circumstances

Under Michigan law, courts will only modify or amend a previous child custody order if the petitioning party is able to:

Furthermore, even if a parent shows good cause or demonstrates a change in circumstances significant enough to justify modification, the court will still need to determine the petitioning parent’s burden of proof moving forward in the case. This is determined by assessing whether an established custodial environment exists. According to state law, the custodial environment of a child is established if over a period of time, a child looks to the current custodian for guidance, parental comfort, discipline, and the necessities of life. If a court decides that a current established custodial environment exists, then it will only make a change to the custody order if the petitioning parent can provide evidence that the change is in the best interests of the child.

Parenting Time

When the petitioning party is specifically requesting a change in parenting time, the court will assess the following factors:

  • Why the changes are sought;
  • Whether the change is due to a change in circumstances;
  • Whether the parents can agree to a new schedule;
  • Each parent’s primary concerns about changing the schedule;
  • Whether there is evidence or allegations of domestic violence;
  • Whether a change in parenting time would jeopardize the stability of either child’s home; and
  • Whether the parties live near each other.

Only when an analysis of these factors supports the assertion that a change in parenting time is in the best interests of the child will the court agree to modify the prior arrangement.

Change in Residence

Many situations involving modifications arise when one of the parents wishes to move out of the state of Michigan. In these cases, courts will look closely at the details of the prospective move, including why the parent finds it necessary to relocate. Courts may also address additional factors, including:

  • The pros and cons of the move for both the petitioning parent and the child;
  • Whether the move would improve the child’s quality of life;
  • What type of parenting schedule each party envisions if the move were to take place;
  • Whether the child is very involved in extracurricular activities in his or her current home;
  • Whether either parent will gain financially if the schedule is changed;
  • Whether the noncustodial parent has provided documents regarding his or her new employer, or information about nearby schools and the local community; and
  • Whether the move will affect the relationship between the child and the noncustodial parent.

If you have concerns about your child’s other parent moving out of state, please contact a child custody attorney right away.

Call a Member of Our Child Custody Legal Team Today

If you believe that your child custody agreement should be modified, please call Iafrate & Salassa at (586) 263-1600 to schedule a consultation with an experienced child custody attorney.

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