Out of State Custody Laws – Michigan

State Lines and Custody. Moving to a new state is a stressful and difficult process, which is only magnified when you are trying to do so as the custodial parent of a minor child. When the court system becomes involved in a child’s life, the court will get to have a say in many aspects of your life that, traditionally speaking, you wouldn’t normally expect to have to obtain a judge’s permission for. One major example you want or need to move any significant distance, or perhaps even out of the state entirely.

You are going to need someone’s permission. If you are the custodial parent of a minor child, and you’re looking to move to another state, even if it’s for something like the pursuit of career opportunities, then you’re either going to need the permission of either the other parent or the permission of the court that the custody order is through. Many non-custodial parents will not be willing to give their permission freely. There is no doubt that this is sometimes out of spite, but often times this will be the case simply because he or she wants to remain as large a part of the child’s life as possible. Fortunately, however, the court will not be unreasonable in granting such permission if the other parent does not agree with the move.

Best interest of the child. If you are the custodial parent of a child, then you are probably already aware that the court will always concern itself with the best interest of the child. There are some obvious costs to a child that come with moving to a new state, such as having to go through the disruptions that any of us would have to deal with when moving to a new state. That is not to say, however, that such a move is never in a child’s best interest. For example, if the move will put the parent in a better position financially, or if the move will give the child better academic opportunities. At the same time, however, there will always be other effect to consider, such as:

Conclusion. The bottom line is that, when you are the custodial parent of a child, moving out of state is possible. However, because of what’s at stake when considering a move to another state, and because the laws are complex and always changing, you are going to need to speak with an experienced Michigan family law attorney before, in order to to secure the best possible outcome and make sure your rights are protected.