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Can a custodial parent relocate with the child to another city?

There are many changes that occur in the lives of Detroit residents over the years. These changes impact a person's family, finances and personal circumstances - sometimes all at once.

For instance, when a person takes a new job in a different city, it can present major changes in the persons' life. It can also have legal consequences, such as when a child custody order is in effect between divorced spouses.

The child custody order typically provides for a division in custody and in visitation between the parents. Because the custodial parent's relocation with the child can impact these custody and visitation rights, there may be restrictions on a parent's ability to relocate to a different city with the child.

Under Michigan law, custodial parents have restrictions on their ability to relocate more than 100 miles from the child's legal residence. If the other parent consents or permits the relocation, then it may be permitted under the statute. Likewise, if the custodial parent has sole legal custody, there may not be any challenges posed by the restrictions.

Otherwise, the court may examine the reason for the relocation, including whether the relocation will improve the quality of life for the parent and child, the degree to which the parents have utilized their parenting time under previous court orders and whether the parent who is relocating is trying to defeat the other parent's time with the child. The court will also look at whether the other parent can continue to have a relationship with the child after the relocation.

Accordingly, like any decision involving the children, the court will analyze multiple factors to determine whether relocation is permissible. Parents should be aware of these factors and how it will impact their personal situation.

Source: Michigan Legislature, "Child Custody Act of 1970," accessed on Nov. 7, 2015

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