& Post Judgment
Your divorce settlement should be a fair and clear representation of your family’s situation after the end of a marriage. However, as your new unmarried life progresses and your children grow, your judgment of divorce may need to change to reflect your current situation.
One important change that may need to happen is to modify the child custody order. Perhaps you have a serious concern about your child’s welfare as provided in the current custody order. You may need to relocate for work, or there has been a change in your child’s education needs. In any case, you want a lawyer who has the experience to help you change the present court order.
Changing custody orders requires extensive experience in Michigan custody law and the attorney at Gordon & Hess, PLC can assist you whether you need to change the custody or parenting time order or whether you need to defend against a change that is not in your children’s best interest.
If you believe that you need to alter your child custody arrangement, you will need to prove to the court, by clear and convincing evidence that there has been
- A significant change of circumstances beyond normal life changes
- Proper cause that has occurred since the most recent custody order
Changing child custody requires a much higher level of proof than child visitation modification. The underlying concern of the court regarding any change to the previous declaration of child custody is this to protect against the disruption of the stability and continuity of the child’s environment.
Establishing “proper cause” for Michigan child custody modification must follow a set of strict statutory factors, and be of such magnitude to have a significant effect on the child’s well-being.
One of the first determinations from the Court is whether there is an “established custodial environment” in the home of either parent or possibly both parents. When the Court concludes that there is an established custodial environment with one or both parents the burden of proof to modify that environment becomes much higher.
If you are seeking a modification to your current custody plan or to prevent a modification of your current custody plan, contact the attorneys at Gordon & Hess, PLC for assistance. Custody and parenting time modifications are extremely complicated and it is important that you have a professional who understands the laws in the State of Michigan to protect your rights and the rights of your children.
Family Law Attorneys
The attorneys at Gordon & Hess, PLC have represented various clients with custody or parenting time modification issues in Grand Rapids, Grand Haven, Holland, Muskegon, Newaygo, Kalamazoo, Allegan, Hastings, Battle Creek, Ionia, Montcalm as well as other cities throughout West Michigan. Let our Grand Rapids Attorney team help you.
Please contact Gordon & Hess, PLC now and schedule a free ½ hour confidential consultation to meet face to face and discuss the custody and parenting time modification issue you are facing and to discuss the best course of action. Call now at (616) 272-3331.