In a family law case, you don't necessarily need a lawyer to represent you. If you show up in pro per (representing yourself), most judges will be patient and understanding. You can also seek help at the family law facilitator's office, which is run by the court. I practice in California, so I am not sure if you have one in your county. You should also check with the Bar Association in your county/state and see if they have any resources that can help you.
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Unfortunately, Michigan does not have a "family law facilitator's office" and the clerks at the Friend of the Court are not permitted to give legal advice.
In order to modify a custody order in Michigan you will have to prove, as a threshold question, that there has been a change in circumstances since the last time the court issued a custody order. If you are able to prove a change in circumstances, you must then show that the change in custody is in the child's best interest based on 14 statutory factors. If the court determines that the child's current custodial environment is with the other parent. Then you must prove that the change is in the child's best interest by the heightened clear and convincing evidence standard. This is very difficult to do without a skilled attorney.
Again, unfortunately, most legal aid offices are so overwhelmed that they will only take custody cases where domestic violence or abuse of the child are involved. If your local legal aid office cannot take your case, I suggest you see if you have any friends or family that are willing to help you hire an attorney.
DISCLAIMER: This answer is provided as general information, which may not be appropriate for the specific facts of your particular situation. No attorney-client relationship has been established based on this limited communication. You are advised to consult with an attorney in your jurisdiction before taking any action or inaction that may affect your legal rights. www.hecklerlawoffice.com
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