Co-parenting or shared custody after a divorce can put many limitations on your personal freedom. For example, you can’t just schedule outings with the kids or a business trip until you confirm any changes in your parenting schedule with your ex or arrange for child care.
Additionally, once you file for divorce, you won’t be able to just move wherever you want. There are limitations both in state law and often in the language of your custody order that limit how far you can move with the kids after the divorce.
What does Michigan law say about parental relocation?
If you want to get away from your ex for a fresh start, moving away with your kids may seem like the easiest way to do that. However, under Michigan law, you cannot relocate more than a hundred miles away from where you currently live without notifying the court and your ex ahead of time and requesting permission in writing.
Most of the time, the 100-mile limitation is also part of the specific language in the custody order issued by the courts. Even if you don’t include that term in your custody agreement, the rule still applies to your household. Additionally, the courts may enforce more strict limitations that you agreed to with your ex, including not moving out of the same school district.
What should you do if you still want to move?
If your relocation is not out of spite against your ex but rather out of a desire for a new job or to get closer to family and other support systems, you can formally request a modification to your parenting plan that approves your relocation.
You will have to notify the courts and your ex so that your ex can respond. If they contest your move, both of you will have to present your side of the situation to the courts at a hearing. The judge may allow you to relocate or may refuse your request.
Taking the time to plan ahead will make it easier to convince the court that a move is necessary for you and in the best interests of the children. As with any other custody proceeding, it is often better to have help and support as opposed to trying to handle the process alone and risking mistakes that might impact your success.