Child custody and relocation issues affect many divorced families in Michigan. Changes to residency often arise due to employment opportunities, remarriage of a parent, or attempts to improve the health or education needs of the child.
Will your move jeopardize the relationship with your child? Is your spouse threatening to move miles away or out of state with your child? How does moving affect child custody and visitation?
Contact child custody relocation lawyer Cameron Goulding today or call 248.608.4123. Request a personal consultation to learn more about how Cameron C. Goulding, P.L.C. helps families across southeast Michigan including Oakland, Livingston, Macomb, Lapeer, Genesee and Wayne counties. We serve to protect your rights to child custody, relocation and visitation.
Securing the approval of the court or the other parent can be easy or difficult. This depends on many factors, including the type of child custody arrangement currently in place and the reasons for the move.
Michigan's 100 Mile Rule
When the parents have joint legal custody of the child, Michigan laws for relocation limit the custodial parent from moving a child more than 100 miles away (and sometimes less than 100 miles) from the current legal residence of either parent. Unless one parent has sole legal custody of the child, the other parent must agree to the residence change and the court must approve the changes to residency before they may relocate.
Factors Considered in Child Custody, Relocation and Visitation
If the court must make the decision, there are 5 factors the judge will consider in relocation, with the child's best interests as the primary focus in all deliberations:
- Will the change of residence most likely improve the quality of life for the child and the relocating parent?
- Has each parent been cooperative and supportive of the existing parenting time schedule? Is the relocating parent's plan to move the child away an attempt to disrupt the visitation or parenting time schedule?
- If the court allows the relocation, will it be possible to change the visitation schedule and other schedules approved for the child in a way that will satisfactorily maintain and encourage the relationship between each parent and the child?
- To what degree is the parent, who is contesting the relocation, ultimately motivated by his or her desire to negotiate a lower child support payment in exchange for agreeing to the relocation?
- Has domestic violence been witnessed by or directed against the child?
If a parent moves 100 miles away, the moving parent may simply ask for a change (increase) in parenting time. But when relocation changes parenting time to such an extent that a change in the custodial environment results, this can be the basis for a change in custody. The other (non-custodial) parent may have a sufficient case for a motion to modify the child custody orders.
Contact our Oakland County, Michigan Family Law Firm
Parent-child relocation can be complex. To be sure your rights are fully protected, relocation cases must be handled with great care.
Whether you are considering moving or trying to keep your former spouse from moving away with your child, I can help you. I will take the time to explain these and many more important legal issues concerning child custody and changes to residency in Michigan. Contact me online with your child custody and relocation questions or call 248.608.4123 today.