Michigan Child Custody Laws & Moving Restrictions

By Cindy Chung

Relocation plans often result in conflict between divorced parents if one parent wants to move away with the children. As part of a parental relocation, known as a change of residence in Michigan, a parent may need to obtain court approval before moving. In some cases, the other parent may ask the court to restrict the move. However, some moves do not require court approval.

Effect of a Custody Order

When parents have a court order for custody and visitation, the order establishes their rights as it pertains to the relocation of a child. The type of custody a parent has determines whether that parent must obtain court approval before moving. If sole custody is awarded to a parent, that parent has all legal and physical rights to the child. Alternatively, if joint custody is awarded to each parent, both share legal rights to the child and both spend time with the child regularly. A Michigan custody order may restrict changes to a child's residence. If so, the parent who wishes to relocate with the child must request a new court order.

Types of Moves that Do Not Require Court Approval

Michigan law specifies a few types of moves that do not generally require approval through a court order. A parent who has sole custody generally does not need the other parent's consent or a court order before moving. When parents share custody rights, a parent may be able to move without legal restrictions if the move would shorten the distance between the two parents' homes or if the parents already lived more than 100 miles apart when they established their custody order. In addition, a parent may change the child's residence if the other parent voluntarily gives written consent.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Types of Moves that Require Court Approval

Michigan custody laws restrict changes to a child's residence under specified circumstances. The other parent must consent to, or court must approve, any relocation to a home located more than 100 miles from the child's current residence. If a parent plans to move the child to a home in another state, a court must approve the change in residence even if the distance is less than 100 miles. State law does include an exception for safety reasons if a parent needs to relocate because of domestic violence; however, the parent will likely still need to participate in court proceedings after the move.

Legal Requirements to Obtain Court Approval

If the other parent opposes the child's move and court approval is required, the parent who wishes to change the child's residence must file a motion with the Michigan state courts. The motion must include an explanation for the move. Common reasons include relocation for employment, educational opportunities or family ties. The other parent has a right to oppose the motion and ask for a court hearing. Before making a decision, the court must review several factors. The court must consider whether the move has potential to improve the quality of life for the relocating parent and child or disrupt the child's relationship with each parent. The court must also look at each parent's record of compliance with the existing custody order and determine whether the relocating parent would comply with a changed visitation plan if the judge allows the move.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Child Custody & Relocation Rights in Tennessee



Related articles

Child Custody Laws for North Carolina

Custody includes both physical custody, the right to provide a home for a child, and legal custody, the right to make decisions regarding a child's day-to-day care. In North Carolina, parents have an equal right to custody regardless of gender. The state's custody laws set forth the procedure a court must use when issuing or modifying a custody order.

Moving Out of State and Joint Custody

Joint custody is an arrangement in which both parents remain involved in their child's life. As a result, courts are more likely than ever before to grant either physical or legal joint custody. Moving out of state can complicate joint custody arrangements and a parent may need a court's permission for the move. Some parenting plans establish a specific procedure for the parent to follow.

Laws for Divorced Parents With Children in Alabama

Creating parenting arrangements that support the welfare of minor children is an important part of the divorce process in Alabama. By law, judges must make custody decisions based on the child's best interest, which can impact the type of custody awarded and the ability of a parent to change a child's residence.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Can a Spouse With Full Custody Leave the Country?

A parent with full custody has the authority to make many decisions on behalf of a child. However, a custodial parent's ...

Relocating With Children During a Divorce in Florida

When parents divorce in Florida, they generally need a court order for custody and visitation. Before either parent ...

California Child Custody Laws About Moving Away

California, like other states, considers the best interests of the child when making custody determinations. Judges ...

Pennsylvania State Regulations About Proximity of Parents to Children in Divorce

Child custody and divorce cases can be highly contentious for both parties. Some parents wish to move away to avoid the ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED