Relocating with a child after a Michigan divorce

After a divorce, people in Michigan may want to move for any number of reasons, such as to be closer to family, to pursue job opportunities or just to achieve a fresh start. If they are parents, however, they may not be able to just make the decision, pack up their belongings and load up the trucks.

According to the Michigan State Court Administration Office, parents with shared custody their children are required to get permission if they intend to move more than 100 miles from their current residences or out of the state. People may obtain permission to relocate by reaching an agreement with their children’s other parents or by getting court approval.

When both parents consent to a move, they may submit an order modifying their existing custody and visitation arrangements. These new orders should specify the new residence, as well as provide an explanation of any modifications to the parenting time schedule and transportation arrangements.

Should parents be unable to reach an agreement on a proposed relocation, the parent wishing to move may seek permission from the court. According to state law, there are several factors that judges should consider when deciding whether to allow a child relocation. These include the following:

  •          If the move will improve the relocating parent and the child’s quality of life
  •          Each parent’s compliance with and utilization of their time under the existing order
  •          The motivation for the proposed move
  •          The motivation for the opposing parent’s position
  •          Any history of domestic violence

Additionally, the court will take into account whether the parenting time and visitation schedule can be modified in a way that preserves and fosters the parent-child relationships. The law also stipulates that family law judges should consider the potential willingness of each parent to make the modified agreement work.

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