Residents of Michigan may know that a child's relocation in Michigan and within 100 miles of the current residence is possible without getting a judge's approval, barring a few exceptions. However, for the relocation of a child's current residence to another state, the judge's approval is necessary for the move.
A child's residence can be changed by the custodial parent without getting approval from the judge if:
- The other parent does not object to the move.
- One parent has been granted sole custody of the child.
- At the time of the custody decision, parents were already living 100 miles apart.
- The move results in the child's two legal residences becoming closer to each other.
A parent can get the approval of the judge to relocate the child's residence in one of two ways-either asking the other parent to agree to the relocation move or asking the judge to pass an order approving the move. In the event of the parents agreeing to the relocation move, an order containing their agreement can be prepared by an attorney or a friend of the court. The order must have the child's new address and any changes in parenting time or transportation that has become necessary because of the relocation.
Filing a Motion to Approve Child Relocation
In the event of the parents not agreeing to the move, the custodial parent must file a motion requesting the judge to approve the relocation. The motion also must state the reasons why a parent's motion for relocation should be approved by the judge, who may ask the friend of the court for evaluation and recommendation. The judge may also hear the relocation request in the presence of both parents. While deciding on the case, the judge will take into consideration various things, most importantly, the best interests of the child.
Source: Courts.MI.gov, "Michigan Custody Guideline," Accessed on Jan. 9, 2014
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