Why Temporary Change to Parenting Time Due to COVID-19 Does Not Change Custodial Environment

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During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic some parents agreed to temporary changes in parenting time out of fear that the children would be exposed to the virus. The parent who ended up with less time may be faced with the question of whether this agreement was meant to be temporary or long lasting, when the other parent files a motion to modify custody.

In a recent Michigan Court of Appeals case, Stoudemire v Thomas, the Court overturned the lower court’s modification of the children’s established custodial environment which reduced the father’s parenting time. In the lower court, the mother had argued that the arrangements made during the Covid-19 pandemic for health reasons, were enough to change the custodial environment. The Court of Appeals found that the lower court failed make the proper factual findings when it modified the children’s custodial environment. According to the Court, the facts of the case were insufficient to constitute ‘proper cause or a change of circumstances’ to order a change in custody. The children’s established custodial environment was with both parents.

If you are seeking help with your divorce & custody case contact Diana Mohyi Attorney at Law for a consultation.

Published by Diana Mohyi Attorney at Law P.C.

Divorce & Family Law Attorney Licensed in Michigan & New York

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