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When Does Moving Require a Modification to Custody Arrangements?

by | Jun 9, 2022 | Uncategorized |

After you have gone through a child custody case in Michigan and have child custody arrangements in place, it can be stressful to consider the possibility of moving and having to change your child custody order. Parents might seek to move after a child custody case for a variety of reasons, from accepting a new job to experiencing a change of scenery to moving closer to family members who can help with childcare. If you are making plans to relocate, you are likely wondering: when does moving require a modification to custody arrangements? The answer to that question will depend upon a number of factors, including your current child custody arrangement and the distance and location of your intended move. Our Michigan child custody lawyers can provide you with more information. 

Determine Whether You Need the Court’s Permission to Move

If you are planning to move and wondering about the need for a modification of child custody arrangements, you should know that Michigan child custody law only requires you to seek a modification if the following are true:

  • You have joint legal custody of your child and are planning to move more than 100 miles from your current residence; or
  • You are planning to move outside the state of Michigan.

To be clear, if you have joint legal custody (and you share custody with your ex), you will only need to obtain a modification if you plan to move more than 100 miles from your current residence or you plan to move out of state. Regardless of your custody arrangement—even if you have sole custody—you must ask the court for approval to move outside the state of Michigan. 

Joint Custody and Michigan’s 100-Mile Rule

If you are not planning to move more than 100 miles from your current residence and are not planning to move out of state, you do not need a modification. If you are planning to move more than 100 miles away and you share joint custody, you will need to have your child custody order modified. (To clarify, if you have sole custody and are planning to move more than 100 miles away but within the state of Michigan, you do not need to have your custody order modified.)

There are some exceptions to the requirement that you get the court’s permission if you have joint custody and are planning a move of more than 100 miles away, including:

  • Your ex agrees to the move (in which case you will typically still need to submit a consent order);
  • The move will bring you and your child closer to your ex’s current residence; or
  • You and your ex were already living more than 100 miles apart in Michigan. 

Moving Outside the State of Michigan Always Requires a Modification

If you are moving out of the state of Michigan, even if it is only a few miles from your current residence, you must receive approval from the court.

Contact Our Michigan Child Custody Attorneys

If you are planning to move to a new residence with your child, our Michigan child custody lawyers can evaluate your case and can help you to seek a child custody modification if it is necessary based on your circumstances. Do not hesitate to get in touch with our firm for assistance. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins today.