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How can you modify a child custody order in Michigan?

| Jun 23, 2021 | Divorce |

If you want to change a custody order in Michigan, you can do so if you use the Motion Regarding Custody form. The court will need to evaluate the changes that you would like to make. For example, if you’re asking to increase your parenting time and to decrease the other parent’s time due to your child’s schooling needs, then this might be approved. A request to change the schedule because it is inconvenient for you, despite it working for everyone else, may not be approved. 

This is why you need to have a strong case if you have to go to court to fight for the modification. In most cases, a better option is to get your ex-spouse or partner to agree to a modification, so that you can have a united front in court. If both parents are happy with the requested modification, then it’s much more likely to get approved.  

How often can you modify custody in Michigan? 

There isn’t necessarily a time limit on altering your custody arrangements, but you can’t just go to court and change your custody plan at any time. You will need to show that there is a good reason to change the plan, such as your child having a change in their school schedule, you finding a new job or one parent moving away.  

The reason that courts don’t allow custody modifications whenever parents want is that disputes would go on forever. Instead, once an order is in place, you will need to determine if it’s an appropriate time to modify the schedule based on various factors. This is something you may want to discuss with your attorney prior to appealing to the court for a change in the custody schedule.  

Remember, any custody changes do need to be approved by the court. Even if you and your spouse agree to a new arrangement, it is in your best interests to submit this new custody schedule to the court and to have it approved. Failing to do this leaves you and the other parent unprotected against claims of missing custodial days or not returning your children on time (based on the old schedule).