Can I Relocate During a Child Custody Case?

In general, under child custody laws, a parent can change the child's place of residence if it does not interfere with the existing physical custody and visitation schedule order of the non-custodial parent, and if they have informed the other parent about the change.

However, if the parent with primary custody wants to move the child to a faraway place that may disrupt the custody arrangements and visitation rights order, they may be required to seek a court order relocation request before the child can relocate with that parent. This kind of case is known as a relocation or move-away case.

Contact Clarity Family Law's experienced Dearborn family law attorneys for legal advice regarding alterations to an initial custody agreement and visitation arrangements. Call us at (313) 513-1919 to schedule a free consultation.

Parental Responsibility in Relocation Cases

Child custody cases can be difficult and emotional. Things get more complicated when one parent wants to move with the child. Relocation cases require careful consideration of the child's best interests and the rights of the custodial and noncustodial parent.

Parent responsibility refers to the parental rights and obligations of parents towards their children. This includes decisions about education, healthcare, and overall well-being. Parent responsibility is important in determining if a move is best for the child.

Relocation In and Out of State

Relocating during a child custody case depends on your state's child custody relocation laws and your specific situation. In Michigan, under child custody agreements you can generally move within the state without court approval, but for moves outside of Michigan or a significant distance within the state, court approval of altercations to current custody arrangements may be necessary.

joint custody forms, a gavel, and cutout of a family on a desk

Eligibility to Relocate During a Child Custody Case

When parents are in a child custody case, they often wonder if they can move during the legal process. Moving during a custody case can impact the outcome and the child's well-being, so it's important to know the rules and consequences.

What Factors Are Considered Before Relocating?

Relocating during a child custody case is a big deal with potential consequences. Different areas have different rules, but courts usually consider certain factors before allowing a parent to move with their child.

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  • In a child custody arrangement case, the court's top priority is the child's best interests. They consider factors like the child's relationship with each parent, their school and community ties, and the potential pros and cons of the proposed relocation.
  • The parent seeking to relocate must provide a valid reason for the move, such as a job opportunity, better educational opportunities for the child in another school district, or a need to be closer to extended family for support.
  • The court will consider how the move will affect the other parent's relationship and visitations. If it will greatly impact their time with the child, the court may not allow the relocation.
  • The moving parent needs to provide a plan for maintaining a strong relationship between the child and the non-moving parent, which may include long-distance visitation, communication, and travel arrangements.
  • If the parents have a history of conflict and lack of cooperation, the court may take that into account when deciding on the relocation. Conflict may indicate that the parent moving is trying to limit the other parent's involvement.
  • The court may consider the child's preferences when deciding on the proposed relocation, such as the level of involvement of the non-custodial parent in their life, although they may not be the ultimate determining factor.

Notice Requirements for the Non-Relocating Parent

When a parent wants to move with their child during a custody case, they must follow notice requirements set by the jurisdiction. These requirements aim to involve both parents in court proceedings and allow the non-moving parent to express concerns before a decision is made.

Can a Parent Object to the Relocation?

When parents can't agree on a child's move, they should seek a judge's decision. Filing a request is necessary to start resolving the disagreement. Whether a parent wants to change a judgment or believes the move isn't best for the child, they need a hearing date with a judge.

What Happens if the Primary Residence Changes During Litigation?

During a child custody case, it's advised to maintain stability for the child. However, there may be times when a parent needs to relocate. Laws on relocation during custody cases vary by jurisdiction.

Consult a child custody attorney familiar with the laws in your area. Some jurisdictions require permission from the court to relocate. The court considers factors such as the reason for the move and the ability of the other parent to maintain a meaningful relationship with the child.

a home packed with boxes for a move

If a parent relocates without permission, the non-relocating parent may object and seek custody modifications. The court may view this as a violation of its authority.

Relevant Factors in Deciding if Relocating is Permitted

  • Educational Opportunities and Quality of Life for Minor Children
  • The Benefits or Detriments to the Parent-Child Relationship

How is Majority of Parenting Time Determined When Relocating With a Minor Child?

When going through a child custody case, one of the most complex and sensitive issues to address is relocation. If a parent wishes to move with their minor child, it can significantly impact the existing custody schedule and have an adverse impact on the child's life. Therefore, determining the majority of parenting time when relocating requires careful consideration of several factors.

Each jurisdiction may have different laws and guidelines regarding relocation during a child custody case, including how the majority of parenting time is determined. It is important to consult with an attorney familiar with the laws in your specific area to understand how it may impact your case.

Learn More: What to Expect From a Guardian Ad Litem Visit

In general, when deciding the majority of parenting time when relocating with a minor child, courts will consider several factors. The ultimate goal of the court is to make a decision that is in the best interest of the child.

Are There Any Temporary or Intended Relocations Allowed During a Custody Case?

During a custody case, parents may consider relocating for various reasons. The permissibility of temporary or intended relocations depends on the specific circumstances and jurisdiction.

Family laws and custody guidelines vary by state, so it is important to consult with a local child custody lawyer. In some cases, temporary relocations may be allowed with the non-relocating parent's consent or court approval. Other times, an intended relocation may be allowed if it benefits the child's best interest.

The relocating parent must present evidence for the move, such as job opportunities or family support. The court will consider all factors and decide based on the child's best interest.

Can a Family Law Attorney Help With a Custody Relocation Case?

If you're in a custody case and want to move, talk to a family law attorney. Clarity Family Law handles custody relocation cases and has experienced lawyers who can help you. Relocating during a custody case is complicated. It involves legal considerations like the child's best interest, parenting plans, parent communication, and education.

A Dearborn custody attorney from Clarity Family Law can navigate these aspects and advise you. Every case is unique and the court considers many factors before deciding. Call Clarity Family Law today at (313) 513-1919 for a consultation.

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