As a new addition to our blog, we will be highlighting certain relevant cases that are making headlines this month! We hope the highlighted cases will be able to assist our clients in seeing how a Court handles similar situations to their own.
The case of Bonk v. Bonk dealt with whether a trial court could modify parental rights and responsibilities when one parent was relocating if that issue was not expressly raised by motion and the sole motion before the court was the relocating parent’s motion to modify parent-child contact.
In Bonk v. Bonk the mother appealed a trial court decision that transferred the right to choose the children’s residence and school from her to the child’s father, and that reconfigured the parties’ existing contact schedule, reducing her time with her children from approximately 65% to 20%. The Supreme Court held the mother’s motion to modify parent-child contact and father’s motion to dismiss in response did not raise the issue of the parties’ parental rights and responsibilities. Therefore, the trial court abused its discretion by issuing an order modifying parental rights and responsibilities. Furthermore, the Court held that the trial court proceedings supported finding a sufficient change of circumstances to grant mother’s motion to modify parent-child contact. Accordingly, the Supreme Court reversed and remanded for the trial court to set a new parent-child contact schedule.