When parents in Livonia divorce, a child custody order will be developed that outlines who has the child in their care and when. This plan may work for a while, but life has a way of changing. A parent might get a new job with new hours or may move away or otherwise may not be able to meet the child’s needs. For some, this may mean that the existing child custody order is no longer feasible and needs to be modified.
What is a change in circumstances?
If parents cannot agree on their own on how to modify an existing child custody order, they can move the court for a modification. Judges in Michigan will modify an existing child custody order if it can be shown that there is proper cause or a change in circumstances. This change must be significant. This change must go above and beyond normal changes in the child’s life. The change must significantly affect the child. Proper cause is based on the best interests of the child factors. Generally, if a change in circumstances can be shown, proper cause can also be shown and vice versa.
What are some examples of change in circumstances?
The following are some examples of changes in circumstances that might lead to a child custody modification. Keep in mind that these examples are not all-inclusive and that each case will be considered on its merits. This post cannot guarantee any specific outcome in a child custody modification case.
A change of circumstances may take a variety of forms. For example, it may exist if a parent is absent from the home or is abusing drugs or alcohol. If a parent is not providing adequate care for the child or is abusing or neglecting the child, this may also be a change in circumstances.
A change in circumstances does not exist if the parent is experiencing financial problems that could be addressed by a change in child support paid. A change in the child’s normal needs or the child’s wishes to change custody do not constitute a change of circumstances.
Seek help if you want to modify a child custody order
Ultimately, this post is for informational purposes only and does not contain legal advice on child custody modification or other divorce legal issues. Those who want to learn more about modifying a child custody order in Michigan will want to consult with an attorney before proceeding, so they have a better understanding of their rights and options.