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Out of State Parent Custody and Parenting Time in Michigan
With so many people moving out of the state of Michigan today, Paynter & Associates is frequently contacted by parents who want to know the custody laws about moving out of the state of Michigan with their child or children.
Michigan child custody laws can prevent you from moving out of state with your child during a case or after the entry of a divorce or custody judgment.
Pursuant to MCR 3.211, every custody order must contain a provision that prohibits changing the domicile of the child(ren) from the state of Michigan without permission of the court.
Michigan child custody laws may also restrict your moving your children within the state of Michigan during a case or after a the entry of divorce or custody judgment.
Pursuant to MCR 722.311 the Court in Michigan may be able to prevent you from moving with the minor children more than 100 miles away from the other parent.
The Michigan laws about moving out of state with a child are becoming more frequently litigated in the Courts in Michigan.
What about my parenting time if I move out of state?
Sometimes, one parent moves out of state for a job, while the children remain in Michigan with the other parent.
The parent moving out of state for a job wants to know what kind of parenting time they can have.
Michigan child custody laws provide that the Courts can make decisions with respect to parenting time for the out of state parent as well.
Can I move out of Michigan with my children?
There are specific statutes in Michigan that require every final order or judgment with minor children to state that:
- You must petition the Court if you wish to change the domicile / residence of the child / children from the state of Michigan.
- If the parents both have legal custody, and one of them wishes to move more than 100 miles away from the other parent, they must either have the agreement with the other party or petition the Court.
- If both parents agree to allow the one parent to move, the Court will generally approve an agreed upon parenting time order.
If a move of a distance less than 100 miles impacts custody or parenting time, the Court may prohibit a that move as well.
Whit parenting time can i get if I move out of Michigan?
If you live in Northern Ohio, your visitation may be very similar to a "reasonable and liberal" parenting time schedule of every other weekend, half the school holidays and two or three weeks in the summer.
If you live in California, your parenting time may be most of the summer and half the school holidays, while the parent remaining in Michigan has the school year
Depending on where you live, your parenting time could be anywhere in between those two examples.
When discussing the parenting time with the parent remaining in Michigan or the parent moving out of state, be as specific as possible with respect to the parenting time so that the order can be enforced.
A general order, with no specifics (which weekend, which weeks in the summer, etc.) are difficult for the courts and local law enforcement to enforce.
If you agree on a parenting time schedule, your next step will be to discuss the transportation.
Will both parents provide a portion of the actual transportation (driving)?
Will both parents provide a portion of the cost of the transportation (flying)?
Will the children be allowed to fly unaccompanied minor?
Other things to consider is scheduled phone contact, and scheduled video conferencing.
The actual parenting time and the transportation costs for the visitation are all questions that have no specific bright line rule in the courts.
So, if you cannot agree with the other parent on the parenting time or the transportation issues, it will be up to the judge assigned to your case to make a decision.
Going to court on a move out of state case?
In the end, if the parties do not agree, a motion must be filed with the Court for a change of domicile to move out of the state of Michigan.
In order to prevail at Court on a change of domicile action in Michigan, one must show by a preponderance of the evidence that the motion to move out of state should be granted.
The four factors that Court in Michigan is to consider on a motion for change of domicile are as follows:
- Whether the prospective move has the capacity to improve the quality of life for both the custodial parent and the child;
- Whether the move is inspired by the custodial parent’s desire to defeat or frustrate visitation by the noncustodial parent and whether the custodial parent is likely to comply with the substitute visitation orders where he or she is no longer subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of this state;
- The extent to which the noncustodial parent, in resisting the move, is motivated by the desire to secure a financial advantage in respect of a continuing support obligation; and
- The degree to which the court is satisfied that there will be a realistic opportunity for visitation in lieu of the weekly pattern, which can provide an adequate basis for preserving and fostering the parental relationship with the noncustodial parent if removal is allowed.
Going to court on a move that is MORE than 100 miles away within Michigan?
There are five factors pursuant to 722.31(4) that the court must consider when ruling on a motion to move beyond the 100-mile limit:
- (a) Whether the legal residence change has the capacity to improve the quality of life for both the child and the relocating parent.
- (b) The degree to which each parent has complied with, and utilized his or her time under, a court order governing parenting time with the child, and whether the parent’s plan to change the child’s legal residence is inspired by that parent’s desire to defeat or frustrate the parenting time schedule.
- (c) The degree to which the court is satisfied that, if the court permits the legal residence change, it is possible to order a modification of the parenting time schedule and other arrangements governing the child’s schedule in a manner that can provide an adequate basis for preserving and fostering the parental relationship between the child and each parent; and whether each parent is likely to comply with the modification.
- (d) The extent to which the parent opposing the legal residence change is motivated by a desire to secure a financial advantage with respect to a support obligation.
- (e) Domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against or witnessed by the child.
CONTACT OUR OFFICE IF YOU WISH TO DISCUSS YOUR PARENTING TIME MATTER.