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Can child custody arrangements be revisited?

When St. Clair Shores, Michigan, couples divorce, there are many issues to be resolved. The resolution of those issues may be contentious, as the interpersonal problems between the couple render them uninterested in seeing each other do well after the marriage ends.

Some may presume that the most contentious issue is money, but the most deeply personal issue that gets addressed in divorce is child custody.

Can child custody arrangements be revisited?

At the time of the divorce, long-term child custody arrangements will be made. However, in practice, long-term simply means until one of the parents can prove to a court's satisfaction that the arrangements should be changed. While courts are loathe to change child custody arrangements that are viewed as being in the best interests of the children, they will revisit those arrangements when there is legitimate cause to do so.

What is a legitimate cause for making the change?

One such legitimate cause that should be acted on immediately when present is a physical danger to the children. That can come in the form of domestic violence, such as when the parent with whom they are living is committing violence against the children, or when someone that parent invites into the home is committing violence against the children.

What about other adults who are are dangerous?

If that parent and another adult who spends time in the home are in a violent relationship, that is also a good reason to get the children out immediately, even if no act of violence has been committed directly against the children at that point. The children's safety has to be first and foremost.

What about neglect?

Child custody arrangements can also be changed if the children are in danger from neglect. If the parent with whom they live is not getting them the food, drink and other basic care that they need to be healthy, that is a good reason to change the child custody arrangements. If that parent is failing to maintain a safe environment, that is also a good reason to change the arrangements right away.

Source: The Spruce, "5 Reasons to Request Child Custody Modification," Debrina Washington, accessed Oct. 18, 2017

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