When can you modify child custody in Michigan?

You can change your custody order when it no longer meets your family’s needs. Even if you and your coparent agree on the changes, they do not become legally binding until you have a new court order. 

Review the requirements and process for requesting a child custody modification in Michigan. 

When both parents agree

If you and the other parent agree on the change, you can submit a new custody plan and ask the court to approve it. You should request approval from the court where you received your original custody order. In this case, you do not need to file a motion or attend a hearing. 

When parents disagree

If your child’s other parent does not agree to your proposed custody change, you must file a Motion Regarding Parenting Time with the court that issued the original order. You must state the reason for your desired change and prepare to provide evidence to support your case. 

In some counties, you will meet with a court-appointed mediator who will make a custody recommendation based on your request. In other counties, the judge will make a determination. 

In either case, the court will review the status of the child’s current home situation. Your child should have an environment in which a parent provides discipline, comfort, care, guidance, love, stability, safety and necessities. You must demonstrate that since the initial custody order, your family has experienced either a change in circumstances or proper cause for a custody change. Examples of proper cause include parental neglect, abuse or substance use.