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How Moving to Another State Can Affect Child Custody

by | Mar 16, 2021 | Uncategorized |

Divorces are difficult for many different reasons, and some of those complications may not dissipate simply because your divorce case is final. This is particularly true when you share minor children with your spouse, and the two of you are co-parenting in a shared child custody arrangement. Shared parenting can become particularly difficult or contentious if one of the parents wants to move to another state, even if it is relatively close to his or her current home in Michigan. Relocation to another state is complex, and it will require the court to modify the parenting time schedule. This kind of relocation is governed by Michigan law, and we want to provide you with the details you need.

The 100 Mile Rule Does Not Apply for Moving to Another State 

You might have heard that there is no need to ask the court to modify child custody, including the parenting time schedule if one of the parents is moving to a location that is less than 100 miles from the child’s current legal residence. In other words, if you currently reside in Dearborn and get a job offer in Lansing, you will likely want to move since the commute would be too long. Given that Lansing is under 90 miles from Dearborn, you would not be required to seek a child custody modification from the court. However, this rule does not apply if you are planning to move to another state.

For example, if you currently live in Dearborn but received a job offer in Toledo, Ohio, you are likely planning to move closer to your new office. Even though Toledo is only about 50 miles from Dearborn—it is closer to your current residence, in fact, than Lansing in the example we gave above—the 100 mile rule will not apply. If you plan to move from Michigan to Ohio (or to any other state), you will need to seek a modification.

Factors the Court Will Consider in a Modification Case

If you are planning to move to another state and your home is one of your child’s legal residences, you will need to ask the court to modify your child custody order, including your parenting time schedule. Under Michigan law, the court will consider a variety of factors in deciding whether to permit the out-of-state move and a change to the child’s legal residence. Those factors may include, for example:

  • Whether the new out-of-state residence can improve the quality of life for the child and the relocating parent;
  • Whether the parents have complied with the existing child custody order and parenting time schedule thus far;
  • Whether the relocating parent is planning to move out of state to defeat the existing parenting time schedule;
  • Whether it is possible to grant the modification and allow the relocation while still ensuring that both parents can have a relationship with the child;
  • Reasons for the other parent’s opposition to the relocation (if the other parent is opposing the relocation); and
  • Existence of domestic violence.

Seek Advice from a Michigan Child Custody Lawyer

Do you have questions or concerns about relocation and child custody in Michigan? One of our experienced Michigan child custody attorneys can speak with you today about an out-of-state move and child custody modification. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins to seek advice about your child custody case.