Changing custody

How a court prevents you from changing custody

Suppose you are involved in a contested child custody battle and lose. Why can’t you simply refile the case and try again? The answer is provided in the seminal case of Vodvarka v. Grassmeyer. In Vodvarka, the Michigan Court of Appeals created a barrier to changing custody in order to avoid repeated custody evaluations.

Friend of the Court

What is a De Novo hearing

After the Friend of the Court makes a recommendation, either party may request a de novo hearing or a hearing “from the beginning” with the trial court judge. This right is codified in Michigan Compiled Laws section 552.507(4).

divorce plan

The decision to divorce

Divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage. It is a complex and often emotional process that can have far-reaching effects on individuals and their families. The decision to divorce is never easy and it is often the result of long-standing issues within a marriage. Some common reasons for seeking a divorce include infidelity, financial[…]

Parenting Time

Supervised parenting time

On October 20, 2022, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued its opinion in the case of Krieg v. Krieg after the trial court changed primary custody of the parties minor child to the mother and addressing the issue of supervised parenting time. The parties married in July 2014. Shortly after the parties married, father began[…]

Friend of the Court

The power of the Friend of the Court

Simply put, the power of the Friend of the Court is limited to making recommendations for the trial court to review. However, if no objections to a Friend of the Court recommendation are made, the Friend of the Court Recommendation will become an Order of the Court.

Custody in Michigan

Child custody steps

The first step is a threshold question which asks, what has changed since the entry of the last court order under Vodvarka; The second step requires determining the existence of an established custodial environment and the burden of proof. The third step is to apply the best interest factors using the appropriate burden of proof.

custody
Mediation
Custody in Michigan

Michigan custody laws – the videos

Michigan child custody law can be complex but don’t worry. We make it easy to help you understand this area of the law with the Michigan Divorce Education Series of videos on custody.

Child Custody in Michigan

Parenting time modification and and the established custodial environment

A change in the established custodial environment occurs if parenting-time adjustments change whom the child naturally looks to for guidance, discipline, the necessities of life, and parental comfort.

Child Custody

Changing custody

A trial court can enter and order changing custody, however, before a court may consider modification, the party requesting the change must demonstrate proper cause or a change of circumstances since the entry of the last custody order.

Parenting Time

Parenting time agreement

MCL 722.27a(2): If the parents of a child agree on parenting time terms, the court shall order the parenting time terms unless the court determines on the record by clear and convincing evidence that the parenting time terms are not in the best interests of the child.

Parenting Time

Motion to modify parenting time

Although the threshold requirements to modify custody or a motion to modify parenting time go by the same names, proper cause or a change of circumstance to change custody or modify parenting time have different meanings.

Custody in Michigan
Established custodial environment

Is there an established custodial environment?

A determination of an established custodial environment is important because a court cannot enter an order for child custody (or modify an existing order) without first determining if an established custodial environment exists and the trial court must make clear findings on this issue before deciding custody.

Best Interest Factor

The most important best interest of the child factor.

The willingness and ability of each of the parties to encourage a continuing parent-child relationship with the other parent is the most important best interest of the child factor.

Custody in Michigan

Proper cause to modify custody

On August 26, 2021, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued its opinion in the case of Shipley v. Shipley In this case, the father appeals the trial court’s order to modify custody and decided that there was proper cause to modify custody. The first step in modifying an existing child custody award is for the[…]

Custody in Michigan

What exactly is joint custody in Michigan?

Michigan Compiled Laws section 722.26a, requires parents to be advised of joint custody and the court must consider an award of joint custody at the request of either party.

Objection to Friend of the Court

Relief from a Judgment of divorce

When property is divided in a Judgment of Divorce is typically final and non-modifiable. However, a party can petition the court for relief from a Judgment of Divorce under MCR 2.612 in certain instances.

Oakland County Divorce

Divorce in Oakland County

You may think that there is no difference in the divorce laws by County and you are right, sort of. Divorce law is uniform throughout the state, a divorce in Oakland County is different for a number of reasons.

Child Support

Michigan Child Support Formula Manual 2021 – Change is here!

The Michigan Child Support Formula Manual an the Michigan Child Support Formula Supplement were updated. The new guidelines are effective January 1, 2021. The 2021 Michigan Child Support Formula Manual provides the formula utilized by Michigan Court’s to determine a child support obligation. With very limited exceptions Michigan Court’s may not deviate from the formula.[…]

Custody in Michigan

What is a custodial parent in Michigan?

In Michigan, a custodial parent is the the parent with whom a child spends the majority of overnights with during the course of a year. This definition is similar to that used by the Internal Revenue Service when determining dependent status for tax purposes.

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