Custody may be modified following entry of an initial custody determination only in certain circumstances. Joint custody will be modified on request of either party, and the court will award one party sole custody based on the child’s best interests. Sole custody, however, can only be modified upon a showing that there has been a substantial change of circumstances (affecting the ability or inclination of one or both parents to care for the child in the best possible manner). This is a significant legal hurdle which must be overcome before the court will assess whether a change in custody is in the child’s best interests. A change of sole custody will only occur if both a substantial change of circumstances and best interests showing has been proved by the moving party. However, parenting time modifications will occur whenever the requested modification is in the child’s best interests. No change of circumstances showing is required.
NOTICE: The above summary is meant for informational purposes and is not intended to be legal advice. It is meant merely as a broad overview of the rules applicable to the majority of cases, and does not diminish the need to consult with a professional regarding your specific circumstances.