Skilled Assistance With Child Relocation Matters

In recent years, Michigan's economy has certainly been struggling. In fact, given the high rate of unemployment ― not to mention the poor housing industry ― many individuals have found it necessary to move great distances to find work and a better financial future.

However, it is crucial to keep in mind that legal issues may arise during these moves if an individual is seeking to relocate with a child subject to shared custody.

At Bergmans Law P.C., we understand the intricacies of child relocation law. Under the leadership of family law attorney Henry J. Bergmans, we can help explain your rights and options when it comes to a child's change of residence. It is important to seek experienced legal representation when the best interests of your child are at stake.

The 100-Mile Limit

In Michigan, it is presumed that a child's interests are best served by having strong relationships with both parents. Given this presumption, it is common ― although certainly not guaranteed ― for courts to award joint custody following the end of a marriage or separation.

When parents share custody, Michigan law states that one of the parents may not attempt to relocate with a child by more than 100 miles without first seeking the approval of the other parent or, if the other parent refuses to give such consent, permission from the court.

There are many factors a court will consider when deciding whether to permit a child's relocation, including:

  • Whether the move has the potential to improve the child's quality of life, as well as that of the relocating parent
  • Whether the relocating parent is attempting to relocate out of a desire to upset or prevent the existing parenting time schedule, and the degree each parent has complied with the current parenting time arrangement
  • Whether, if the relocation is allowed, it is possible to establish a new parenting plan schedule that will preserve the relationships between the child and both parents
  • Whether the parent opposing the move is doing so as a way to negotiate a lower child support obligation
  • Whether the child is the victim of, or has witnessed, domestic abuse

It is important to mention, however, that a divorced parent must always get the court's permission before moving outside of Michigan with a child in tow, regardless of whether the move is more than 100 miles or not. If the proposed move will alter the existing custodial environment with the nonrelocating parent, the court will generally have to determine whether the move is in the best interests of the child.

Contact Bergmans Law P.C. Today

Navigating Michigan's child custody laws and relocation statutes can be a difficult task. If you need the legal guidance of an experienced child relocation lawyer, contact Bergmans Law P.C. for a FREE initial consultation. You can reach us online or by calling our Howell office at 810-222-5703.