Michigan Child Relocation Law: What You Need To Know 3

Child relocation may mean losing regular access to your child


In part 2 of this three-part series on Michigan’s child relocation law, we discussed what the law says about the relocation of a child whose parents have a court ordered custody arrangement. In this segment we will be looking at some of the exceptions to the child relocation law, and how they may impact your possible relocation plans.


Michigan has, as we talked about previously, the “100 mile rule” when it comes to moving a child without getting the approval of the court or the other parent. However, there are a few exceptions to that rule, namely:


  • If the parents sharing custody, or a parenting time schedule, already live more than 100 miles apart at the start of the custody proceedings, then their situation is considered to be different. In this case, because the child’s two residences were already more than 100 miles apart to begin with, the court will evaluate each scenario and determine what they believe is best for the child or children involved.


  • If the parents sharing custody lived more than 100 miles apart at the start of the custody proceeding, and one of them wanted to move closer together, the moving parent doesn’t need the permission of the court of the other parent.


  • Another exception to the rules is the issue of domestic violence. According to Michigan law, if either the child or the custodial parent were subject to domestic violence in any capacity, they have legal grounds for exemption from this rule. In this case, they would not be required to seek the permission of the court, or the approval of the other parent in order to relocate to a safe place. However, the law does require that the court be notified of the move and the new location, including all pertinent details pertaining to the move. These details will be kept confidential for the safety of the child and the fleeing parent.


  • If a parent who has sole legal custody of their child relocates, the law doesn’t require them to seek the permission of the court or the other, non-custodial parent. However, they would still be required to stay within the state borders and notify the court of their new residence.


For those parents who are hoping to move out of state with their child, they would have to get the court’s permission. Even if the moving distance is less than 100 miles. Also, keep in mind that your request may be rejected. Parents with sole custody who can prove that the move is in the best interests of the parent and the child, are more likely to receive permission, but there is no guarantee. But for parents with joint custody arrangements, the court is far less likely to agree.


The court will evaluate the situation, taking into account all of the factors mentioned in the previous segment, like the motivation behind the move and whether or not it is in the best interests of the child. On occasion, when both parents can prove that they are willing and able to work around the distance factor and cooperate in the best interests of the child, the court will grant permission for an out-of-state move.


Bear in mind though, that this kind of relocation will often require a change in the custodial arrangement. A two day visit to one parent’s house in not a functional agreement when it requires a plane flight, or a full day’s drive. So if you are hoping to move to another state, whatever your reasons, you will need to be flexible and open to change.


If you or a loved one are considering moving out of state, and you have a custody arrangement for your child or children, you are going to need a skilled attorney to help you present your case. Call the Kronzek Firm today, and talk to one of our experienced family lawyers. We are available 24/7 to help you work through all of your family law concerns.