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Child Custody Relocation

Sterling Heights Child Custody Relocation Attorney Helps Parents With Legal Compliance

Michigan family lawyer assists with long-distance custody and parenting time arrangements

Life is not static and sometimes circumstances arise that cause a parent with child custody to want or need to move, either within Michigan or to another state. If you find yourself in this situation, you can’t just pick up and leave. Depending on your custody arrangement and how far you wish to move, the relocation may require the other parent’s consent and also the approval of the family court. There will also be the need for modification of custody and parenting time arrangements. At Dawson Family Law, PLLC in Sterling Heights, I have over four decades of experience helping people achieve satisfactory solutions in relocation cases. You can rely on me to effectively advocate for your parental rights and for the interests of your children.

How far can a parent move with a child in the state of Michigan?

Under Michigan’s “100-mile rule,” when parents share legal custody of children, the parent who has primary physical or residential custody can move with them within the state to a distance of up to 100 miles from the non-custodial parent without the permission of that parent or the court. However, this rule has two exceptions:

  • If the parents already lived more than 100 miles apart when the initial custody agreement was put in place, then the custodial parent can move farther than 100 miles within the state without permission.
  • If you have school age children, although you have a right to move anywhere within a 100 miles, without Court approval, the Court will have the authority to decide what school district the children will attend, if mother and father do not agree on a school district.  So, although you have a right to move, the Court may order that the children remain in their prior school district.

If you have sole custody, you can move anywhere in the state without permission but you must get court approval for out of state moves. If you are unsure about how the 100-mile rule might apply, I will assess your situation and advise you.

What happens when the other parent won’t consent to the move?

If you wish to move more than 100 miles within the state and no exception applies, or if you want to move out of state, you must get the consent of the other parent or the court’s approval. If the other parent will not consent, you will have to petition the court for permission. It is possible that you will not be allowed to move if the court, after reviewing all relevant factors, determines that relocating with your child is not in the child’s best interests. As your attorney, I will advise you of where you stand legally and will make the strongest case possible in favor of your position.

What factors does the court consider in analyzing a potential relocation?

The court will base its decision on what it finds to be in the best interests of the child after weighing these factors:

  • How the move will affect the child’s quality of life
  • Whether a parenting time schedule is possible that will preserve the relationship between the child and both parents
  • How well the parents have adhered to the current parenting schedule
  • Whether either parent is motivated by a desire to gain an advantage when it comes to custody, parenting time or child support

The child’s wishes or preferences may also be considered depending upon their age and maturity level. When you need to move to better the lives of you and your child or for another important reason, I will advise you about what evidence is required to convince the judge that the move is in your child’s best interests.

Contact a dedicated Sterling Heights child custody relocation lawyer to arrange a free consultation

Dawson Family Law, PLLC in Sterling Heights counsels Michigan parents in child custody and parenting time matters, including modifications of these arrangements in relocation cases. To schedule a free consultation, call my firm at 833-671-4445 or contact me online.

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Office Location
  • Sterling Heights Office
    43805 Van Dyke Avenue
    Sterling Heights, Michigan 48314
    Phone: 586-731-7400
    Fax: 586-731-6370
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