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Why do I need the court's permission to move out of Michigan?

When you and your former spouse divorced in Michigan, you probably understood that because of your child, the two of you would continue to have at least a working relationship as you co-parent. However, you may not have anticipated the ways that your connection could affect your career. If you receive a job offer in another state, your child's other parent has a say in what happens next if you share joint custody.

MichiganLegalHelp.org explains that the court's primary concern is the well-being of your child. The improvement to your standard of living the new job provides may seem as if it should be enough of an argument to prove that the relocation is in your child's best interests. Although this is a factor the judge will consider, he or she may be more concerned about how the distance will affect your child's ability to have a healthy relationship with the other parent.

In the case of domestic violence, you may move first and then ask permission, but in any other case where you move out of state, even if it is a short distance, you must seek approval first by filing a motion. Your former spouse gets a chance to file a response before your hearing is set. Your spouse will have to defend his or her position that keeping your child in the state is better, but your burden of proof is higher because you are the one who wants the move.

If your former spouse cooperates and signs an agreement, or if you have sole legal custody, you do not have to request permission from the judge before planning your move. This information is general in nature and should not replace the advice of an attorney.

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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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