Out-of-State Relocation After Divorce

Raising a child in two separate homes is challenging, especially during the time when the child is with the other parent. When one parent chooses to relocate to another state with the child, this places significant anxiety and strain on the other parent regarding continuation of parenting time and maintaining a special relationship with the child over such distance. Because such a move could hinder parenting and support for the child by both parents, Michigan family courts must evaluate the situation before such a move can proceed.

At Bain & Bain, PC, our lawyers offer more than four decades of combined experience helping families just like yours. We have witnessed the hardships our clients have gone through — whether they are attempting to move or attempting to keep their child from relocating out-of-state. We represent parents on both sides of child relocation disputes in Novi, Howell-Brighton, and throughout southeast Michigan.

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Whenever the relocation of a child is greater than 100 miles or is out-of-state, the parent requesting to relocate must first obtain the written consent of the other parent or must obtain the approval of Michigan family courts. If the parent relocates with the child prior to obtaining approval, the court may order the parent to return the child to Michigan and may hold the parent accountable for denying the other parent of his or her parenting time.

Michigan Standards for Move-Aways/Child Relocations

Before granting a parent-child relocation, the court will consider a number of factors, with the child’s best interests being the focus of each consideration. Issues the court will carefully examine, include:

  • How will the quality of life be improved for the child and the parent that are relocating? Will the parent have a higher income and be capable of providing more for the child? Will the home be a better environment for the child? Will the child be attending a better school? Will there be better community or family support?
  • How has the current parenting schedule been complied with and utilized by either parent? If one parent has frequently denied visitation (parenting time), the court may have a hard time believing this situation will do anything but exacerbate when the parents are in different states.
  • What is the integrity of the motives behind move? Is there a legitimate reason behind the move or is the move motivated by a desire to deny parenting time, increase child support obligations, or aggravate the other parent?
  • Will there still be realistic opportunity for parenting by the parent that is not moving? What kind of modification to the existing child custody and parenting plan is being proposed? Will this arrangement make it realistic for both parents to continue to foster a parent-child relationship? How will travel arrangements and expenses be dealt with? What is the likelihood that the modified parenting plan would be complied with by one or both parents?

Our family law attorney guides clients through the process of relocations and post judgment modifications. We attentively listen to your concerns and work to achieve a solution that protects the best interests of you and your children.

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If you are seeking experienced and knowledgeable guidance during a child relocation matter in Michigan, we can help. Contact us to schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation and what we can do for you.

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