A ‘burden of proof’ is a party’s obligation to submit a certain amount of evidence to prove one’s desired result should occur in a matter during a hearing or at trial. Most people are familiar with the burden for criminal trials which is ‘beyond a reasonable doubt.’ What are the burdens of proof in family law cases like divorce and custody?
In the State of Michigan other common burdens of proof in family law cases are:
‘clear and convincing evidence’ : Less than ‘beyond a reasonable doubt but more than the preponderance of evidence.
‘preponderance of evidence’ : Greater than 50/50, less than ‘clear and convincing evidence.’
For example the parent filing a motion to change custody would bear the burden of proof. “When a modification would change the established custodial environment of a child, the moving party must show by clear and convincing evidence that it is in the child’s best interest.” Shade v. Wright, 805 NW 2d 1, 5 , citing, Pierron v. Pierron, 486 Mich. 81, 92, 782 N.W.2d 480 (2010); MCL 722.27(1)(c). “If the proposed change does not change the custodial environment, however, the burden is on the parent proposing the change to establish, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the change is in the child’s best interests.” Id.
If you are interested in know about the burden of proof that applies in your divorce or other family law case contact Diana Mohyi Attorney at Law for a consultation.