After the finalization of their divorce, people may decide to relocate – to a new neighborhood, a new city or even a new state. For some, however, making this life change may require more than having a desire to make a change and moving forward with their plans. Parents with established child custody orders may have to obtain permission to move out of the state with their kids following a divorce.
Understanding the rules and processes for relocating with children after a divorce may help parents protect their rights and avoid potential issues with the court.
When do parents need permission to relocate?
According to Michigan state law, parents with existing child custody orders may need court approval to change their children’s legal residences. With few exceptions, parents may need approval from the court to move more than 100 miles from their current residences.
When do parents not have to request court approval to move?
According to the Michigan Friend of the Court Bureau, parents may not need court approval to relocate with their children under certain circumstances. For example, custodial parents may not need permission from the court in cases such as the following:
- The child’s other parent agrees to the relocation
- The parents already lived 100 miles apart or more at the time the court decided custody
- The relocation would bring the child’s legal residences closer together
Parents who have sole physical custody of their children may not need approval from the court or their children’s other parents to relocate.
What if the other parent does not agree to the move?
If both parents do not agree on the proposed relocation, the parent intending to move may file a motion with the court. The court may consider factors, such as the reason for the move and how the relocation will affect the child, in deciding whether to approve a move.
Ultimately, parents and family law courts alike want the best for the children. Parents who cannot agree on a move after a divorce may consider discussing their rights and options with a legal representative.