Relocation (Also Called Move Away cases or Change of Domicile) are particularly emotional court proceedings. This is because there is the potential that you may no longer have the close proximity to your son and/or daughter that you previously enjoyed. Michigan Change of Domicile laws are frequently being reviewed by the courts, with new decisions rendering new impacts on pertinent issues. Not having a Michigan Move Away Attorney who knows the progressing nuances of Relocation law could cost you dearly in the litigation process.
Move Away Cases – Pre 2001
Prior to 2001, when a parent with Physical Custody was going to move anywhere within the state of Michigan, all that was required was a notification to the Friend of the Court of the Child’s new address. An interstate (out of Michigan) move prior to 2001 still required court approval.
Change of Domicile
Today, following the increased influence of D’Onofrio v. D’Onofrio, Michigan Relocation Law has become a little more progressive in terms of maintaining existing custody agreements. In 2001, the state of Michigan made into law (codified) the findings of D’Onofrio into Statute 722.31(4), which requires the court to weigh five factors:
1 – The possible advantages of the move in terms of the likelihood of improving quality of life for custodial parent and child alike.
2 – The motives of the custodial parent, paying close attention as to whether or not the move is made to defeat or frustrate the non-custodial parent.
3 – whether the custodial parent will conform to replacement visitation orders, since the parent with custody will no longer be under the jurisdiction of the state of Michigan.
4 – Motives of the non-custodial parent in fighting the change of domicile (relocation/move away) to verify that it is not for financial gain with respect to continued support obligations.
5 – Domestic violence, whether directed at or witnessed by the child or not.
Can I Appeal this Finding?
Coupled with MCL 722.31(4), the application, and later approval of any change of domicile, is appealable in some cases. If your son or daughter has already moved away with the custodial parent, the use of another of the child custody statutes may aid you in your fight. Any change in the custodial environment of a minor child would necessitate that the court must make their decision to allow or disallow the move based on the Best Interest of the Child!
My Ex Wants to Move Within the State of Michigan, and Take Our Child Too!
Another law deals explicitly with this kind of situation; often called the 100-mile rule. The Michigan Change of Domicile/Relocation/ Move Away statute that deals with cases of joint custody, of spouses or former spouses who lived 100 miles or less from each other at the time of the custody suit is Michigan Compiled Law722.31(1). This law creates a legal residence for the minor child at both locations (mother’s and father’s respective houses) and bars the moving of either out of this 100-mile distance between the two homes.
What should I do?
You should contact our Expert Change of Domicile Attorneys if there has been any discussion by your ex of relocating, whether interstate (out-of-state) or in state. Your rights need to be protected when it comes to the visitation of your child. Our Relocation Lawyers will work tirelessly on your case to give it the strongest possible chance of succeeding!
Call us today at 1-517-886-1000, or e-mail us today!