Common Issues After Child Custody Order is Entered

Reviewed and approved by Kathryn Wayne-Spindler

Family law is a difficult area to practice law. Client emotions run high, and even more so when children are involved. Child custody cases can be complicated due to emotional reasons, therefore allegations against either parent are common to arise. Even after an order is entered, it is common that more issues arise, and further litigation will be needed to resolve said issues, unless the parties can come to an agreement. Some common issues that arise are:

  • Changes in a parent’s living situation and ability to provide
  • Remarriage or relocation of a parent
  • Important child raising decisions
  • Parenting time issues
  • Domestic violence and criminal charges

A parent’s ability to provide for a child is always considered when a judge makes a decision regarding child custody. However, it is not uncommon for a parent to lose a job, have a health scare and/or health issues, or other complications that can adversely affect the parent’s ability to care for their children. Changes in a parent’s financial situation also has an affect on the parent’s ability to provide for their child and can impact child custody. Furthermore, if a parent’s living situation worsens this can greatly impact the way a judge will view the situation and custody matter.

A parent remarrying is very common, but this can change the home environment abundantly for the children. In Michigan, a judge looks at the best interests of a child. A parent’s new partner may impact the child that is not in the best interests of the child. The new partner’s lifestyle, background, and habits may be examined before a judge. This situation can cause an issue in which further litigation is needed resulting in a new child custody case.

Another issue that is common is a parent relocating. The issue that may arise when a parent relocates is that parenting time and visitation with said parent can become difficult. The parenting time schedule may need to be revised to better suit the parent who has relocated, whether the relocation be within the same state or out of state. This situation often requires a modified child custody order before the parent moves out of state.

Raising a child does not come with a handbook. Issues arise that are not anticipated when drafting a child custody order. These issues may include but not be limited to problems at school, medical issues, or behavioral issues. If the parties cannot come to an agreement as to a plan, litigation will likely ensue, and a judge will make the decision based on evidence that is presented and the best interests of the child.

One of the most common, if not the most common issue to arise from a custody agreement, is disruptions in parenting time schedules. This disruption can be an intentional violation of a parent’s parenting time, or could be a consequence of a parent’s change in residence or job. However, it is frowned upon to violate the parenting time schedule, unless agreed upon by both parties. Failing to follow the parenting time schedule can become a big issue in the courtroom. Disruptions to the parenting time schedule are not limited to just in-person visitation, but can also include any telephone or video visitations.

A child’s safety and environment is a court’s main concern when it comes to a child custody case. If a parent is charged with domestic violence or other criminal charges, it is likely that a change to child custody and parenting time will take place. Proof of such events occurring should be brought before the court, as they need to be considered by the court when determining child custody and parenting time schedule. Keep in mind though, that allegations of crimes and domestic violence may also be concerned by a judge, which can also impact a parent’s custody and/or parenting time with their child.

The attorneys at Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates are experienced attorneys who change with the times to meet the needs of their clients.  Contact the Milford, Michigan law office of Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates at 248-676-1000 for assistance. The attorneys of Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates practice law throughout Southeastern Michigan including Oakland, Wayne, Washtenaw, Genesee and Livingston counties as well as four mid-Michigan counties Clare, Gladwin, Ogemaw and Roscommon. The attorneys handle cases in Milford; Highland; Hartland; White Lake; Wixom; Commerce; Walled Lake; Waterford; West Bloomfield; Linden; Fenton; Flint; Grand Blanc; Holly; South Lyon; New Hudson; Howell; Clare; Gladwin; Houghton Lake; Higgins Lake; and many more Michigan communities. And soon to be opening another office in Dadeville, Alabama.

For more information, please see blog “Common Child Custody Issues After an Agreement is Reached” on