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A "substantial or material change" in circumstances is not defined by the courts. The court instead holds it is up to the judge reviewing the facts to determine whether some major change has occurred in circumstances since custody was last awarded. See: Hogge v. Hogge, 649 P.2d 51 (Utah, 1982) . Thus, the court uses the common sense approach when looking at what is material and substantial.
Things like a child growing older and going from pre-k to full time kindergarten or going into high school where time is more demanding in school or a parent having to move to get a job in another location or a parent getting some permanent disease or disability or a parent developing a substance abuse problem or one of the parents losing a home can all be things that would be substantial or material changes that the court can use to change custody.
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