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Do you need the court’s approval for in-state child relocation?

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2024 | Child Custody

When moving out of state or out of the country with your child either for professional or personal reasons, it is understandable that the law requires obtaining the court’s approval first since the relocation can significantly affect the child’s well-being and relationships.

But what if you only plan to move within the same state as your child’s current home? Do you still have to request the court’s approval?

Distance matters

In Michigan, determining whether you need the court’s permission to move with your child requires knowing how far their new potential residence will be from their current home. If you are relocating more than 100 miles from where the child lived, then you have to obtain the court’s approval for the relocation. This applies even if you are only planning to relocate within the state.

When the 100-mile rule does not apply

While the 100-mile rule is a standard guideline in determining the need for the judge’s approval, it is not absolute. There are instances wherein you can relocate more than 100 miles with your child, including the following:

  • You have sole legal custody of your child.
  • The other parent agrees to the relocation.
  • The new residence is closer to the other parent’s home than your previous one.
  • You and the other parent have already been living more than 100 miles apart before initiating the family court case.

While exceptions may apply to your case, you must still comply with the existing custody and parenting time order. In certain instances, the court may have to review the order and ensure the new arrangement is in the child’s best interests.

Finding guidance toward making informed decisions

Rules on child relocation can be complex, but they exist to ensure the child’s safety and preserve a healthy relationship with both parents. If you are looking into relocating with your child and want to know about the process, implications and other relevant information, it is advisable to seek guidance from a legal representative knowledgeable on child custody and parenting time.