Changes to Child Custody Orders
Child Custody Modification Lawyer for Oakland, Livingston, Macomb, Lapeer, Genesee and Wayne County, Michigan
Your divorce settlement should be a fair and clear representation of your family's situation after the end of a marriage. However, as your new unmarried life progresses and your children grow, your judgment of divorce may need to change to reflect your current situation.
One important change that may need to happen is to modify the child custody order. Perhaps you have a serious concern about your child's welfare as provided in the current custody order. You may need to relocate for work, or there has been a change in your child's education needs. In any case, you want a lawyer who has the experience to help you change the present court order.
Changing custody orders requires extensive experience in Michigan custody law. For child custody modification assistance, contact me today.
Michigan Child Custody Modification Practice
I have helped many Michigan families in proceedings to obtain custody modifications as well as child visitation modification (changes to parenting time), so that a divorce settlement continues to act in the best interest of the child. Not every parent's ideas about child custody modifications are healthy ones; I will help to defend you and your child against unreasonable requests for custody changes.
If you believe that you need to alter your child custody arrangement, you will need to prove to the court, by clear and convincing evidence that there has been
- A significant change of circumstances beyond normal life changes
- Proper cause that has occurred since the most recent custody order
Changing child custody requires a much higher level of proof than child visitation modification. The underlying concern of the court regarding any change to the previous declaration of child custody is this: To protect against the disruption of the stability and continuity of the child's environment.
Establishing “proper cause” for Michigan child custody modification must follow a set of strict statutory factors, and be of such magnitude to have a significant effect on the child's well-being.
Significant change of circumstances beyond normal life changes include factors such as
- Neglect of the child
- Detrimental environment such as alcohol, drug abuse, or immoral activities occurring in the home
- The custodial parent has developed disabilities that impacts the child's situation
- Relocation of the custodial parent
The court also pays attention to the child's preference for which parent he or she would like to live with. The older the child, the more weight is given to this factor by the court.
Other points looked at by the court are whether the custodial parent has genuinely created and upheld an “established custodial environment” in the home. When they have, this environment of comfort and stability is something that the court does not want to disrupt. The court will also investigate the non-custodial parent's home and environmental situation, to understand the entire situation.
If you are seeking a modification to your current custody plan, I will advise you if there have been sufficient changes in circumstances and sufficient cause to warrant a motion to modify custody.
To understand your options and take appropriate action, call 248.608.4123 or contact me here about Michigan child custody modification.
Please view information about child visitation modification here.