Custody is modifiable if there has been proper cause or a change in circumstances since the entry of the last Court order. A party wanting to modify custody must file a motion with the Court, and that party bears the burden of establishing the proper cause or change in circumstances. Proper cause means changes that have or could have a significant enough effect on the child’s life such that a change in custody should occur.
A change in circumstances means that since the entry of the last order on custody, conditions which have or could have a significant impact on the child have materially changed. The Court will consider the established custodial environment in determining the weight of the burden by the party requesting the custody change. Established custodial environment exists with the parent whom the child looks to for support, guidance, and basic needs. The Court must also consider what custodial arrangement is in the best interests of the minor child.