Local | Respected | Fearless

What will courts consider to allow parental relocation?

| Oct 27, 2020 | Firm News |

As a divorced parent, you may want to relocate to find a better work opportunity so that you and your child can enjoy a better standard of living. The question, however, is whether a court will approve of you moving. In the event you wish to relocate more than 100 miles away or to another state, you should consult your ex on the matter.

If your former spouse does not consent to a relocation, you will have to ask permission from a court to move. If your relocation does not change the custodial environment of your child, Michigan law mandates the court to look at three standards provided by the D’Onofrio test to see if your relocation has merit.

Quality of life for the child

A major consideration in custody proceedings is how good a life a child will enjoy from the arrangement. This will also factor into whether a court grants a parental relocation. A judge will want to know whether the relocation will improve the quality of life for the child and the relocating parent. A court may look favorably on a relocation if the parent wants to move to take on a higher earning job.

Being able to visit the other parent

Relocating to another community is bound to affect the ability of the child to go see the parent who is not relocating. A change in the parenting schedule is not by itself a reason for a court to deny relocation. However, a court will want to know if the relocation will make it difficult for the child to visit the other parent. A judge may have problems with the relocation if it disrupts the relationship between the child and the other parent.

Motivations of the relocating parent

A judge will also examine the motives of the parent who wants to relocate. Moving to take a new job to provide for family is a good and noble motivation. However, some parents try to move for more selfish reasons. They think relocating will decrease their child support level or keep their children from seeing the other parent. These factors may weigh against a relocation.