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Relocation

Moving more than 100 miles away from the other parent could get you in hot water with the court if you have a court order that provides for custody of your child. Michigan law states that you may not move more than 100 miles or out-of-state if you share joint legal custody with the other parent.

Of course, most parents only want to move when they have a very good reason. A better job, family support, or a new spouse are good reasons and a judge will certainly consider your reasons, but you will need to request the court for permission before you move.

How Can I Get Permission to Move?

There are two ways to receive permission to move:

  1. Reach an agreement with the other parent and have an agreed upon order entered;
  2. File a motion and show the court how the move will benefit you and your child and how you propose that parenting time will continue.

The Process of Changing Domicile

The process of filing a motion to change domicile and receiving court approval is time-consuming. Sometimes, it will take weeks or months before you receive a hearing date. You need to file the motion before, not after, your move.

At a hearing the judge will hear testimony from you, the other party, and witnesses. The judge will consider the following factors:

  • Whether the move will improve quality of life for the child and parent;
  • The extent to which both parents have taken advantage of parenting time, and whether the move is intended to frustrate the visitation schedule;
  • How well the new living arrangement will maintain and build upon the relationship between the child and each parent;
  • Whether the parent opposing change of domicile simply wants a financial advantage regarding support; and,
  • The existence of domestic violence.

What Are My Chances of Receiving Permission to Move?

Usually a judge will not allow a move if you do not have a very good reason. For example, if you think that you might find a job there, but have not tried to find a job in Michigan the judge will likely deny your request. On the other hand, if you can show an offer of employment, with an increase in wages, you’ll have a much better chance. If you request to move out of state, quit your job, because you just met a new significant other two months ago, the judge will likely deny the request. If you have been married, and your military spouse will be stationed out-of-state, the judge will likely grant your request.

Often, a parent’s move is so far that parenting time will change significantly as well. If the “established custodial environment” changes, the judge will also review the best interest factors.

If you are considering a move to a location that requires court approval or the other parent wants to move with the child, contact the attorneys at Kraayeveld Law as soon as possible so that we can answer your questions about the change of domicile and possible changes to your parenting time.