Whether you and your spouse negotiate the terms for your divorce or a judge makes the decisions, the final custody order will be a court order that carries the full enforcement weight of the Michigan family courts.
Either spouse can go to the state to ask for enforcement if their ex repeatedly and obviously violates the terms of the custody order. Most parents will try to make their custody order work after a divorce, but there are situations in which modifying the custody order will be what is best for your family. Following are a few of those.
When you have improved your situation
Sometimes, parents can’t ask for fully shared custody because they don’t yet have a place to live or are otherwise temporarily unstable. When you rent or buy a home, get a new job, finish therapy or improve your circumstances, the courts may agree to increase your parenting time.
When your income or schedule changes significantly
Your parenting plan should reflect your family’s unique schedules and financial circumstances. When a parent gets a new job with a more reliable schedule, when your kids add sports to their weekly routine or when one parent starts earning a lot more or less than before, the courts may need to go back over the custody order or even the support order to make updates.
When your ex doesn’t show up or puts the kids at risk
Often, modifications occur for positive reasons like a new job or improved household circumstances. However, the opposite can also affect your family. If your ex has started using drugs, begun a relationship with an abusive person or stopped showing up for their parenting time, you may need to ask for a modification.
Formally changing the custody order with a modification can give you and the kids the greatest stability and protection in a shared custody arrangement.