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Relocation of a child may require a judge’s approval

In Michigan, custody issues can arise when one of the changes in a parent’s life has the potential to affect the child’s relationship with the other parent. Michigan custody guidelines indicate that a relocation does not always require a custody modification, but the parent must seek the judge’s approval if the move is more than 100 miles from the current home, or if the new residence is outside the state of Michigan.

A relocation within the state does not always require approval from the judge. If the parent who is moving has sole custody or the other parent agrees to the move, approval is not necessary. Similarly, if the parents already lived 100 miles apart when the original custody order or the move brings them closer together, there is no need to seek approval.

According to the Michigan Child Custody Act of 1970, a judge must approve any move to another state regardless of any of these circumstances. This includes new residences that are less than 100 miles from the original home. When the other parent agrees to the move, together they can prepare an order with the agreement and ask the judge to enter it. If the other parent does not agree, the parent who wants to relocate has to file a motion asking for the judge’s approval. This must include reasons why the move is in the best interests of the child, such as an improvement in living situation because of a job, or closer proximity to family members.

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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