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What Does It Take?

Modification of Custody once you have a Court Order requires a showing of change in circumstance and/or proper cause. Once you show that, the court then determines the best interest of your child.

Proper Cause | Change In Circumstance

It is vitally important to know what qualifies as Proper Cause or Change In Circumstance. The Michigan Supreme Court and Court of Appeals have clarified what types of events qualify for a parent to seek a change in custody. It is also important to remember that change in custody is different than a change in parenting time - which is easier to do.

A normal expected life change a child goes through is typically not enough to meet the Proper Cause | Change in Circumstance burden, but sometimes a combination of expected changes can be enough.

Usually, things like a child going from elementary school to middle school, or middle school to high school is not a sufficient change for your child to ask the Court to modify custody. The definition that the court uses is "one or more appropriate grounds that have or could have a significant effect on the child’s life to the extent that a reevaluation of the child’s custodial situation should be undertaken."

Notably, the word significant appears in the requirement for modification. This is why there are some cases where typical changes may meet the requirement, while other cases may have unexpected changes that do not meet the requirement.

It is important to understand that the evaluation of whether you have enough issues/evidence to seek a change in custody should be done by a lawyer.

We are happy to give you a free phone consultation to figure out whether it would be worth it for you to seek a modification of custody. To get more information about this topic, please Download Our Custody Preparation Packet, or give us a call.

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