Even after your divorce, Michigan family courts continue to try to emphasize consistency within your individual family unit. This usually means ensuring that both you and your ex-spouse retain prominent roles in your children’s lives. Those roles will almost certainly be impacted, however, should you choose to move away with the kids.
According to Michigan’s Child Custody Act, the court will typically not permit a move of more than 100 miles from your children’s current legal resident without first requiring a hearing. The only exceptions to this rule include:
- If you have sole custody of the kids
- You already live more than 100 miles away from your ex-spouse
- Your move will take you closer to your ex-spouse
- Both you and your ex-spouse consent to the move
If none of these scenarios exists in your case, then the court will review your current custody agreement to see if, by allowing it to continue as is, it would reasonably not impact your ex-spouse’s relationship with kids. When determining whether or not to permit the move (without drastically altering your custody agreement), the court takes into account factors such as how much the move improve both yours and your children’s quality of life, as well as the degree to which both you and your ex-spouse have complied with court orders regarding custody matters in the past. The court will also consider whether there is a history of domestic violence in your case, as well as whether financial motivations (such as trying to secure more financial support) may be behind your ex-spouse’s reasons for opposing the move.
Working with your ex-spouse to revise your agreement in a way that is agreeable to you both can go a long way to avoiding disputes during this process.