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.