Modifying parenting time or custody orders

After the dust settled and your Michigan divorce was complete, it may have taken time for your child to adjust to the new living arrangements, including splitting time between different residences. Over time, the schedule that once met everyone’s needs now adversely affects one or more parties. At Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher, P.C., we often assist clients with necessary modifications of a court order.

According to Michigan Legal Help, a judge may change the parenting time when requested by one or both parents. A significant change in the established custodial environment may result in a custody change. The court looks at a variety of factors before approving the modification. Have circumstances altered since the original or last custody orders? You or your ex must show proper cause. This means that the change is more than routine and has significantly affected your child. There are 12 best interest factors that the court uses as a basis for altering custody orders, and the request must relate to at least one of them.

Changes in the established custodial environment include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Drug or alcohol abuse is present
  • Child neglect or abuse occurs
  • Lack of proper care on an ongoing basis

Even if the parenting change only affects the length of the frequency of parenting time, you must still show adequate cause. This could include a change in work schedule for you or your ex or even an increase in your child’s extracurricular activities as they grow and become more outgoing. Regardless of the reason, the judge weighs the best interest of the child against the current parenting time before approving or declining the change. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.

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