At Cannon Law, we bring a comprehensive and compassionate approach to helping parents seek custody. We handle child custody cases post-divorce judgment. We also handle cases involving parties who have never been married. This includes helping establish paternity and revoking paternity if you have been wrongfully identified as a child’s legal father.
MODIFICATION OF AN EXISTING CUSTODY ORDER
The Michigan Child Custody Act allows a Court to modify custody, parenting time, and child support. Post judgment modification of an original child custody or support order may become necessary when circumstances have changed. If there are problems with your ex-spouse, or the other parent, and you want to seek a change in the current parenting time order, the process is two-fold.
- First, the Court has to determine whether or not there is proper cause or a material change in circumstances in which the issues maybe revisited.
- Second, if the Family Court determines there has been either, it then has to consider whether or not modification of the parenting time or custody of the children is in the child(ren’s) best-interests.
Sadly, there are many problems that may cause you to seek a change of custody. Perhaps your ex-spouse has an alcohol or substance abuse problem if they are neglecting the needs of the children. There are many reasons why you may choose to change custody. You should discuss with an attorney whether or not your reasons are sufficient in the eyes of the Court, before you decide to take the matter to Court.
The best interest factors the Court has to take into consideration are dictated by law.
Specifically, MCL 722.23 provides the following best-interest factors:
(a) The love, affection, and other emotional ties existing between the parties involved and the child.
(b) The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to give the child love, affection, and guidance and to continue the education and raising of the child in his or her religion or creed, if any.
(c) The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care or other remedial care recognized and permitted under the laws of this state in place of medical care, and other material needs.
(d) The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment, and the desirability of maintaining continuity.
(e) The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home or homes.
(f) The moral fitness of the parties involved.
(g) The mental and physical health of the parties involved.
(h) The home, school, and community record of the child.
(i) The reasonable preference of the child, if the court considers the child to be of sufficient age to express preference.
(j) The willingness and ability of each of the parties to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent or the child and the parents. A court may not consider negatively for the purposes of this factor any reasonable action taken by a parent to protect a child or that parent from sexual assault or domestic violence by the child’s other parent.
(k) Domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against or witnessed by the child.
(l) Any other factor considered by the court to be relevant to a particular child custody dispute.