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Michigan Family Law Blog

Monday, December 2, 2019

Can a Move or Job Change Cause a Change in Custody or Parenting Time?

Q: Can a Parent's Move or Job Change Cause a Change in Custody or Parenting Time?

If you’re considering getting divorced in Michigan, and you have minor children; custody and parenting time can be a very difficult issue.  Even after the divorce itself is over custody or parenting time may change over the years until the children reach the age of eighteen.  There are several things that may allow the court to reconsider the custodial arrangement and modify it if one of the parents files a motion.  First, however there has to be some good cause or change in circumstances to allow the court  to even consider it.

Will the Michigan family court consider a move or change of jobs sufficient to revisit custody? 

The answer is that it depends on how far the parent plans to move and the nature of the job, or more particularly the hours involved.  If a parent has joint legal custody, which most parties do in Michigan, then neither parent may move over 100 miles from where he or she resided at the end of the divorce case without the permission of the other party or the court.  If the move is less than 100 miles, then most likely the court will not consider it sufficient to change custody but it may be sufficient to change some of the parenting time.  For instance, if the parties are sharing midweek parenting time and the move will make it extremely difficult during the week to continue the current schedule given the distance, then the court may consider modifying the parenting time arrangement.  Typically, in such a case, the court will try to limit modification of the actual overall number of overnights or the amount of time the children spend with each parent but rather rearrange the schedule to avoid the issues created by the move.

When it comes to a new job, most job changes will not cause the court to consider modifying custody or parenting time but in some instances it will.  One example is where a parent either was working night shifts and is no longer or vice versa, then the court may change the overnight parenting time with that parent when she or he is working.  Another example is where a parent takes on a job that requires the parent to travel frequently, in that case, the court will probably modify parenting time so that the non-traveling parent will have parenting time while the traveling parent is gone.  The reverse could also be true, where one party has had a job that requires travel but is able to obtain suitable substitute employment that does not include travel, the court might very well grant that parent additional parenting time that she or he could not have exercised previously. 


Contact Cameron C. Goulding Family Law and Mediation, PLC Today

If you have questions regarding how a potential move or job change could influence your parenting time or custody, or you have questions regarding any other family law matter, Cameron C. Goulding Family Law and Mediation, P.L.C. can help you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.   From our office in Rochester, Michigan, we represent clients in matters of divorce and family law throughout Oakland, Livingston, Macomb, Lapeer, Genesee, and Wayne Counties.

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