Move-Away Situations

The Challenges Of Moving And Custody

Michigan’s economy has been in crisis much longer than most states in the U.S. This has contributed to many families leaving the state to find work elsewhere … and that has contributed to a steady increase in the number of custodial parents seeking to relocate with a child.

If you share custody of a child, you cannot simply move away when an opportunity presents itself. If you want to move more than 100 miles away from former residence, you must bring your move-away request to court and receive the judge’s approval to relocate your child. The judge will look at four factors:

  1. Is the move likely to improve the quality of life for the child?
  2. Is the purpose of the move to interfere with the parenting time of the non-custodial parent?
  3. Will the move require a modification of the parenting time schedule and are both parents willing to create a new schedule that fosters the parent-child relationship between the child and the non-moving parent?
  4. Is the move inspired by a desire to get more child support (for example, because the non-moving parent would have fewer overnights and so would pay more)?

When the financial security of your family and your relationship with your child is at stake, the child custody attorneys at Marrs & Terry, PLLC can provide sound legal advice and courtroom representation. We begin by reviewing with you each of the factors the judge will consider for the relocation request. As your advocate in court, our goal is to explain how your request is in the best interests of the child.

Contact us to schedule a consultation with a child custody lawyer at our Ann Arbor or Jackson, Michigan law office, or call toll-free at 734-663-0555.

The Relocation Process

Whether you want to move out of the state, out of the country, or to a town 150 miles away, you must notify the court of your new address and you must notify the other parent that you intend to move. Even if both parents agree to the move, the relocating parent still needs to file a motion with the court stating why he or she wants to move and outlining the four factors listed above. The non-moving parent has the option of asking the court to prevent the relocation of their child.

The Court’s Involvement In Relocation After A Divorce

Sometimes parents choose to relocate after a divorce because they no longer have ties to the state. It’s important to know that whichever court you use to open a child custody case, that court will retain jurisdiction over the case for the rest of the child’s life.

  • If one parent chooses to move and one parent stays in Michigan, the Michigan family court retains jurisdiction of the child custody case. Any time you want to change the custody arrangement, the case will need to be brought in Michigan court.
  • If both parents leave the state, Michigan will retain jurisdiction until one of the parents requests a transfer of jurisdiction to their new state.

Are You Concerned About A Former Partner Leaving The Country?

Child custody and support judgments will be recognized as valid and binding in foreign countries that are signatories to the Hague Convention (which the U.S. is). Judgments from the U.S. will, theoretically, be enforced in the foreign nation but it doesn’t always work. It can be difficult to enforce and not all countries participate.

If your former partner wishes to relocate after divorce back to their home country, it is extremely important to open a child custody case here in Michigan in order to settle jurisdiction of the court. This gives you some legal protections. At Marrs & Terry, we do handle international child custody issues.

You Are Not Alone In This. Contact Our Family Advocates Today.

Contact us to schedule a consultation or to learn more about the court requires if you wish to relocate after divorce or prevent your child from being relocated.