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Can A Child Custody Ruling Be Modified in Michigan?

Posted on in Divorce

Can A Child Custody Ruling Be Modified in Michigan?When parents choose to end their marriage, the most important factor that should be considered for the future is the safety and wellbeing of their children. While Michigan law encourages both caregivers to create a custody agreement that is in the best interest of the children, this may not always be possible. Depending on the reasons behind the divorce, parents may have a difficult time coming together to construct an agreed-upon parenting plan. As time progresses and situations change, however, modifications may be made to a child custody arrangement if there is a proper cause and the involved children would benefit. If you wish to alter your current court-ordered parental agreement, a knowledgeable child custody lawyer can help. 

Joint or Sole Custody

Once parents choose to end their marriage, the decision of custody must be determined. If for any reason the parents cannot agree on a living situation for their children, the court system will become involved. If joint custody is decided, that means that both parents will share the responsibility of raising their children. Topics such as education, religion, medical care, and the decision of extracurricular activities will have to be agreed upon by both spouses. Before a ruling is made, the judge must determine whether or not the parents will be able to agree on the aforementioned topics. Joint custody may be considered by the court without a request from either parent. 

In the event that sole custody is granted, the care and decision-making responsibilities will be designated to one parent. When determining which outcome will be enforced, a judge will consider:

  • The relationship between the children and each parent
  • Financial resources
  • The quality of the living situations
  • The physical and mental health of each parent
  • The children's relationship with the community
  • The children’s wishes
  • Any history of abuse    

How Can A Custody Order Be Changed?

In many situations, an original custody ruling may become out of date, and an alteration may be required. For example, if joint custody was originally decided but one parent's mental health starts to deteriorate, he or she may no longer be fit to raise children. In order for a modification to be granted, a motion to change a custody order must be filed. If both parents agree on the adjustment, they may sign an agreement and seek a judge’s approval. However, when an agreement cannot be reached, the parent filing the motion must demonstrate to the judge that a significant change in circumstances has occurred. Alongside the physical and mental health of each parent, a modification to a custody ruling may be applicable if a spouse:

  • Has a severe change in finances
  • Wishes to relocate
  • Is unable to work
  • Chooses to remarry or have another child
  • Cannot fulfill his or her parental responsibilities

Contact an Oakland County Divorce Lawyer

Although a post-divorce modification request can seem confusing or complicated, it is important for parents to protect the best interests of their children. At Elkouri Heath, PLC, our experienced Farmington Hills family law attorneys can evaluate your case and determine what is needed to strengthen your child custody modification request. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 248-344-9700.   

Source:

http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/Publications/FriendofCourt.pdf

Oakland County Bar Association State Bar of Michigan Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan WCCDBA Woman Lawyers Association of Michigan
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