Can I Relocate with My Child to Another State (Part II)?
You have made plans or considered moving out of state with your child, but the child’s other parent has refused to consent to the agreement. The only way you are able to complete the relocation at this point is to obtain the permission of the court to do so (assuming, of course, that you and the other parent share joint legal custody of the child). A court considering a request by a parent to relocate will first look to determine whether the proposed move takes the child to a new residence more than 100 miles away from the child’s previous residence or out of state.
The 100-Mile Rule: Factors to Be Considered
If the proposed move will involve the child relocating a domicile that is more than 100 miles from his or her current domicile, the court is required by statute to consider certain factors in making its determination. These factors include:
- How the proposed move might positively or negatively impact both the relocating parent’s life and the child’s life;
- The reasons why the relocating parent is seeking the move;
- If a new parenting schedule can be created that will provide the other parent with an opportunity to preserve and foster his or her relationship with the child;
- The reasons why the other parent is opposing the relocation;
- The extent that both parents exercise their current parenting time;
- If one parent is trying to block the other’s parenting time;
- Whether there has been acts of domestic violence.
Once a court considers these factors and determines that these factors weigh in favor of granting permission for the proposed move, the court must still consider whether the move will disrupt the existing custodial environment of the child. Most out-of-state moves do change this environment. If so, the court must consider other factors as well to determine if the move is in the child’s best interest.
Determining the Child’s Best Interest
In determining the child’s best interest, the court analyzes a number of factors including:
- The desirability of maintaining continuity in the child’s life;
- The mental and physical fitness of the parents;
- The love and affection that exists between the child and each of the parents;
- How willing each parent is to foster a relationship between the child and the other parent.
In this inquiry, the focus is on what is best for the child – while the impact of the proposed relocation on the parents may be considered, it is of secondary concern to the court.
Can a Michigan Family Law Attorney Help Me?
Relocating from Michigan to another state with your child is difficult when the other parent does not agree with the proposed move. To increase your chances of succeeding with your planned relocation, seek the help of a zealous and talented Michigan change of domicile attorney. At the Van Den Heuvel Law Office, we can help you gather and present the witnesses and evidence you need to give your requested relocation the best opportunity for success. Contact us today by calling (616) 698-0000.