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Modifying a Michigan child custody order

| Aug 27, 2020 | Child Custody |

Either parent can request a change in child custody and parenting time in Michigan. The parent must show that circumstances have significantly changed since the court issued the original custody order, and that the requested change in custody will support the best interests of the child.

Review the process of modifying a custody arrangement in Michigan.

File an official request

The requesting parent must submit a petition to the county court that issued the existing child custody order. The court will schedule a hearing date and require the requesting parent to mail a copy of the petition to the other parent within nine days of the hearing. He or she can also personally deliver the petition within a week of the hearing.

Attend the modification hearing

The other parent may either agree to the requested change or file a response with the court. When parents disagree, both must attend a hearing and provide evidence to support their positions so the court can decide.

The judge will review this evidence and determine the presence of a significant change in circumstances that warrants a custody update. He or she will also decide whether the current arrangement or the new proposed arrangement supports the child’s best interests. Some of the factors in the best interest determination include:

  • The child’s existing relationship with each parent as well as any siblings
  • The ability of each parent to care for the child, including both emotional guidance and practical considerations such as food and shelter
  • The stability of the current living situation
  • The mental and physical health of the child and both parents

Both parents must follow the existing custody order until the court approves a parenting time modification.