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Can Michigan Custody and Parenting Time Be Affected By Where You Live?

After your marriage ends, you may want to start fresh by moving away. Your new financial situation in fact may price you out of the area where you previously lived. However, it is important to know that when it comes to child custody and parenting time, location matters.

If you share custody of your child or have an alternative custody or parenting time arrangement, a modification will be required when either parent decides to move a considerable distance. Just as with initial custody and parenting time decisions, judges are required to focus on the best interests of the child. The various factors to be considered include:

  • The bond between the child and each parent
  • Each parent’s ability to provide for the child emotionally and financially
  • Each parent’s role encouraging the child’s school and community involvement
  • Which parent can provide a more stable and secure home environment
  • How far apart the parents live
  • The people in each parent’s family unit
  • How well the child has adjusted to any recent move
  • Where the child’s siblings live
  • The child’s reasonable preference

Choosing to live at a certain distance from your child’s other parent affects custody as part of the bigger picture, rather than as a singular factor that can tip a decision one way or another. If a child has a stronger bond with and preference for one parent, and that parent has proven to be more reliable and emotionally supportive, the parent’s decision to move to a different locality may not be a major blow to his or her chances of maintaining custody. Similarly, a parent who is wealthier and maintains ownership of the home in which the child grew up will not necessarily be given preference in custody.

If you are divorced and are thinking about moving your home, speak to a child custody lawyer about the possible implications of the move. At Dawson Family Law PLLC, I advise parents on all aspects of Michigan divorces. To schedule a free initial consultation with my Sterling Heights office, call 833-671-4445 or contact me online.

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    Phone: 586-731-7400
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