Answer:  Vodvarka and Shade are the names of two Michigan Court

Of Appeals opinions that set the standards for when custody and

parenting time can be reviewed. When you file a Motion to modify

custody or parenting time the Court must first determine if there has

been a change in circumstances since the entry of the last Order. This

is the “threshold” that the Referee is talking about. The two cases

referenced talk about what the person filing the Motion must show as

changes in circumstances in order for the Court to review the custody

and/or parenting time. In other words, something significantly

different must be going on since the entry of the last Order. Simple

life changes like going from grade school to middle school or starting

to drive will not be enough. There has to be something new that

affects one or more of the best interest factors of the child. This is all

very subjective for sure. The law and the process are complicated and

it is a big mistake to try and do this on your own. Call me, I can help.


Michael Olson is a partner with the law firm of Matecun, Thomas & Olson, PLC in Howell.  He answers readers’ questions on legal matters affecting individuals, their families and their businesses.  Email questions to [email protected], or if your question is urgent, call (517) 548-7400.  The information in this column is not intended as legal advice.

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