Michigan Change of Domicile Law: Moving With Your Child After Divorce 2

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Moving out of state will require a court order, and permission from the other parent.

In the previous article, we wrapped up the discussion on Michigan’s change of domicile laws by explaining what a parent would need to do if they are hoping to move beyond the state’s 100 mile threshold or move across state lines. Simply put, this would involve a
“Lombardo motion” or gaining the permission of the court, or the other parent. The question now, is what options are available to you if the other parent says no?

Moving more than 100 miles from your child’s other home may present problems for their other parent. Perhaps it would reduce the amount of visitation they could have. Or possible it would alter the custody agreement in a way that conflicts with their work schedule. Either way, if the other parent refuses to consent, the decision will fall to the court.

The court will have to make a determination about whether or not you may move and take your child with you, altering the custody arrangement or the parenting time schedule. In order to make this decision, the court has to consider whether or not the move is in the best interests of your child. The following are some of the factors that the court takes into consideration when making this determination.

  • Does the move improve the quality of life for the child and the relocating parent. The emphasis is put on the child’s life rather than the parent’s life.
  • How well each parent has complied with the parenting time order, and whether or not the move is motivated by a desire to frustrate or upset the current custody arrangement.
  • Whether or not the parenting schedule can be amended in such a way that preserves the relationship between the child and each custodial parent.
  • Whether or not each parent is likely to comply with the new schedule.
  • Whether or not the parent opposing the move is motivated in any way by a desire to secure financial gain for themselves by changing the current child support arrangement.
  • And finally, whether or not the child has suffered or witnessed domestic violence at either legal residence.

There are two exceptions to the 100 mile rule.

The first exception is if, when custody proceedings began, the two established legal residences for the child were already more than 100 miles apart.  In that case, neither parent needs the court’s permission to relocate, as long as they stay within the state.

Secondly, if the parent or child are subject to domestic violence in any capacity, they are not legally required to seek the consent of the other parent or the approval of the court in order to relocate to a safe place. However, the court must be notified as to the location of the new residence, which will be kept confidential. Our team of family law attorneys often disregards this exception in favor of seeking a court order, just to be on the safe side.

If a parent has sole physical or legal custody, however, they don’t need to get permission from the court or the other non-custodial parent to move, as long as they remain within the state and notify the court of their new residence. This is another situation where we usually err on the side of caution be seeking a court order in advance of a move.

If you share custody of a child and are considering a move that may take you beyond the state’s 100 mile boundary, or a move of this nature is being considered by your ex, contact our experienced family law attorneys immediately. The Kronzek Firm has handled many change of domicile cases (Lombardo motions) in Oakland County and surrounding areas. We can answer all of your questions and walk you through the best way to handle this situation. Call us at 248 306-4004 to discuss your needs.

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