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We have 50-50 custody, and dad isn't doing his part, plus smoking weed around kids. Can I change custody order?

Southgate, MI |

My ex and I have been divorced for a little less than a year. We have 50-50 custody for our 2 kids, no child support paid. He was doing ok with the whole situation, but his mom was living with him and was doing most of the parenting/supporting. He got remarried to a woman who has 3 kids (who he supports) and his mom doesn't care for. Suddenly I've been told his mom/stepdad are the ones watching my kids 24/7, paying for everything. My ex/new wife were smoking weed around my daughter, lock themselves in their room, and let the 5 kids have a free-for-all throughout the house. He made a secret arrangement with his mom for him to get one overnight a wk and not to tell me. His mom just moved out, and took our kids with her. He visited a 1/2 day in a week.Can I get full custody based on this

Attorney Answers 3


I cannot guarantee that you would get full custody but it sounds like a situation that would warrant you getting more custody. You would need to file a request for orders and write a declaration indicating the change in circumstances and why it is in the children's best interest for you to have more custody. It wouldn't be a bad idea to contact an attorney who can at least give you limited scope representation such that you can get assistance with the paperwork and prepared for court. The other option is to see if your court has a "Self-Help" center that can give you the paperwork, but they cannot give you legal advice.

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Ms. Jones is correct. But, your best option is to actually hire an attorney to handle this for you. These hearings are not a "walk-in-the-park", by any means. An experienced attorney knows how to plead, and what evidence you are going to need to provide. In addition, if your husband were to engage an attorney, you would be at a distinct disadvantage without one.

Best of luck to you,

John J. Keenan

This response applies to Michigan law only. This initial response to your question(s) is for general purposes, only, and is based upon the limited information you have provided. Therefore, this general answer should not be relied upon as a reason for your action or inaction. This response does not establish an attorney-client relationship; such a relationship may only be established by the signing of a written retainer agreement, and the payment of the agreed upon retainer. Please call me, or another attorney of your choice, with more details, and for an appointment to discuss same. Thank you for this opportunity to address your question(s).

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Changes in custody are determined based upon the BEST INTEREST of the child. Further to initiate it there has to be a change in circumstance... you have that but you really need to investigate the other factors.

722.23 “Best interests of the child” defined. Sec. 3.
As used in this act, “best interests of the child” means the sum total of the following factors to be considered, evaluated, and determined by the court:
(a) The love, affection, and other emotional ties existing between the parties involved and the child.
(b) The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to give the child love, affection, and guidance and to continue the education and raising of the child in his or her religion or creed, if any.
(c) The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care or other remedial care recognized and permitted under the laws of this state in place of medical care, and other material needs.
(d) The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment, and the desirability of maintaining continuity.
(e) The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home or homes.
(f) The moral fitness of the parties involved.
(g) The mental and physical health of the parties involved.
(h) The home, school, and community record of the child.
(i) The reasonable preference of the child, if the court considers the child to be of sufficient age to express preference.
(j) The willingness and ability of each of the parties to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent or the child and the parents.
(k) Domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against or witnessed by the child.
(l) Any other factor considered by the court to be relevant to a particular child custody dispute.

It sounds like you have some of the factors.. and may have a good chance at getting full custody.. but you probably need to hire an attorney to pursue it on your behalf.

Please note that I answered this question with general knowlege of the law and with limited disclosure from you, my answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and I cannot be held responsible for how you, the asker, use the information provided. If you want to contact me directly and retain my services you may through my listing on this site or at 248-901-0750 or

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