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Factors Considered in Parental Relocation in Michigan Child Custody Cases

 Posted on August 29, 2023 in Family Law

Novi Child Custody LawyerChild custody issues can be among the most emotionally challenging and legally complex situations that parents have to work through when getting a divorce. When one parent in a joint custody agreement decides to relocate with the child, the situation becomes more challenging and potentially more contentious. Today, we will highlight the key factors Michigan courts consider when evaluating parental relocation requests. If you have questions or concerns related to your divorce, child custody, or any other family law matter, contact an experienced lawyer to give yourself the best shot at obtaining a favorable custody ruling.

Protecting Parental Rights is Most Important 

For the court to move a child, there must be sufficient reasons as to why the move must take place. Michigan law states that for parents in a joint custody agreement, neither parent may move more than 100 miles without the expressed consent of the other parent or court. In situations further than 100 miles, the court refers to this as a “change of domicile.” In cases where both parents agree to the move, the move may happen. However, if the parent who is not moving does not consent to the move, that is where things get tricky. In such situations, the moving parent may need to petition the court to grant approval for the move.

Relevant Factors for Parental Relocation 

  1. Reason for relocation – An essential factor assessed by Michigan courts is the ultimate reason for moving. Motivations such as a better job opportunity, a higher standard of living, or being closer to family may be viewed as valid reasons. 

  2. Impact on parent-child relationship – Michigan courts recognize the importance of maintaining a meaningful relationship between the child and the parent who is not moving. The court will evaluate the impact that relocating may have on the current visitation and parenting time schedule, as well as the ability of both parents to foster a healthy co-parenting relationship.

  3. Contesting parents’ motivation – The court will look at why the parent challenging the move is doing so. Are they doing so because they believe the move will negatively impact the child? Or are they resisting the move because they do not want to see the other parent happy, regardless of whether the move would benefit the child? These are things the court will look at when making their decision. 

Contact a Northville Child Custody Attorney

Custody situations can be highly stressful, especially if you do not hire a lawyer. Regardless of whether you are looking to relocate with your child or are the parent trying to prevent the move from taking place, contact the seasoned Oakland County child custody lawyers with Elkouri Heath, PLC. Call 248-344-9700 for a free consultation. 




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