Do I need to get the other parent’s permission to move our child out of state?

Under Michigan law, when parents have joint legal custody, certain factors must be met before a change of domicile is allowed.  One parent can’t move with the child out of state or more than 100 miles from where the child’s legal residence was at the time of commencement of the case that led to the custody order unless they have permission from the court, the new residence is closer to the other parent or the parent requesting the move is escaping a threat of violence.

The party requesting a move out of state or more than 100 miles away, will need to justify that the move is warranted. For a judge to award a change in domicile, it will consider whether:

  • The legal residence change has the capacity to improve the quality of life for both the child and the relocating parent
  • The degree in which each parent has complied with or utilized their parenting time under a court order, and whether the move would frustrate the other party’s time schedule
  • The degree in which if the court permits the legal residence change, if a modification of parenting time schedule can provide an adequate basis for preserving and fostering the parental relationship between the child and each parent
  • The extent to which the parent opposing the change is motivated by a desire to secure a financial advantage with respect to a support obligation
  • Whether there is a history of domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against or witnessed by the child

If the change in domicile would change an established custodial environment, there must be a change of circumstances or proper cause to warrant the change in custody.  If there hasn’t been a change in circumstances or proper cause, the change in domicile should not be granted.  However, if the moving party can prove a change of circumstances or proper cause, then the court will determine whether the move is in the best interest of the minor child.

If you’re in a situation where you either want to request permission to change domicile or prevent a change in domicile, let our experienced attorneys help you make this happen!  Contact our office for a consultation at 734-821-7411.