Do I Have to get the Court’s Permission to Move Once we have a Judgement?

If a case involves minor children in Michigan a judgment governing parenting time and custody includes a provision that a child’s residence may not be moved outside of Michigan without the Court’s permission and if the parent share joint legal custody neither parent can move more than 100 miles away from where the case was filed. Many people wonder how the Court’s apply this 100-mile rule and if it applies to them.

Simply put, the 100-mile rule applies to a parent’s move if that move would relocate the child more than 100 miles from their residence at the time of filing for divorce or custody. If a move would result in the child living more than 100 miles from their residence at the time the case was filed, a parent needs to request a hearing to receive approval for their move PRIOR to relocating.

There are some instances when the 100-mile does not apply. Those are:

  1. If the parent moving has sole legal custody.
  2. The custody order specifically permits the parties to move over 100 miles.
  3. The other parent agrees to the move.
  4. You and the other parent lived more than 100 miles apart when the original order was entered.
  5. The move would bring the minor child closer to the other parent’s home.

If a parent who has sole legal custody wants to relocate outside of the state of Michigan, they must seek court approval even though they have sole legal custody. Even if the other parent agrees to the move, it is good practice to enter an agreement with the Court stating the move is agreed to, in case the other parent changes their mind and decides to contest the move at a later date.

There are several factors a Judge will look at when deciding a case involving relocating over 100 miles. These include:

  • How the move would improve your and your child’s quality of life
  • If each parent has followed the parenting time provisions of your court order
  • If you are using the move to limit the other parent’s time with your child
  • If new parenting time arrangements will allow your child to keep a similar relationship with the other parent
  • If the other parent is fighting against the move just to pay less child support
  • If you are moving to escape domestic violence by the other parent

The rules and factors surrounding a relocation of the child are complex and it is always best to consult with an experienced family law attorney about your specific situation. You can call our office to set up a free consultation if you have any questions. (734) 422-237.