Can he do this?


#1

My Ex and I divorced in Jan 2011; A Child Custody Order was in placed by the judge and has been modified several times to accommodate his living/job situation from 2011-2014; Last modification was done via a Consent Order (signed by judge) sometime around September 2014 after the ex moved to Michigan for work; Per the Consent Order, I have physical custody of three boys (ages 16,13,8) during the school months (August - June), with him having monthly visitation (for one “long” weekend each month); ex has custody during the summer, with the exception of one week; and we alternate holidays throughout the year

Ex has asked me to consider switching the custody arrangement to allow him to have the boys the majority of the year, based on his belief that “boys need to be with their father moreso than their mother” and the fact that “I’ve allowed extended family to move into the family home”; Extended family includes cousin, cousin’s boyfriend, and her three kids, ages 15,11,10; both cousin and cousin’s boyfriend have gainful employment and support their mini-family within the home; We currently reside in a five bedroom split level home, so there is plenty of room for everyone; when I refused, he has now filed for modification

(1) What is the chance the my ex will convince judge to modify child custody based on the above, with all other things being equal between both parents?
(2) Does the answer change if the kids have complained to him about having to “share a room” with their cousins?
(3) Does the answer change if the kids have expressed to him that they no longer like our living situation?


#2

Our judges are given full discretion when it come to child custody matters. Your ex will have the burden of proving that 1) there has bene a substantial change in circumstances warranting a modification, and 2) that it is in the best interest of the children that the custody schedule change to allow them to live most of the time with their father. I truly cannot tell you how a judge would rule in this matter, but if your ex succeeds in proving that it is in the boys’ best interest to live with their father, he or she will order that.

As far as if the boys’ preference matters. It can in some circumstances, but the following article will shed some light on how and when it matters:

Child’s Preference and Child Custody