Chryssikos Law Firm

Change of Domicile

For parents who share joint legal custody, Michigan law prohibits a parent from moving a child’s residence more than 100 miles without the other parent’s consent or permission of the Court. This may be accomplished by filing a Motion for Change of Domicile, which is typically heard by the same judge in the same court that granted the divorce or last custody order. If possible, a parent wishing to move more than 100 miles should consult with an attorney long before the anticipated date of the move, as such matters require careful preparation and planning. Additionally, such cases will typically require a hearing and can often take months before receiving a ruling from the Court. Michigan law requires a Court to reach a determination on certain factors, which are:

  1. Whether the legal residence change has the capacity to improve the quality of life for both the child and the relocating parent;
  2. The degree to which each parent has complied with and utilized his or her time under a court order governing parenting time with the child and whether the parent’s plan to change the child’s legal residence is inspired by that parent’s desire to defeat or frustrate the parenting time schedule;
  3. The degree to which the court is satisfied that, if the court permits the legal residence change, it is possible to order a modification of the parenting time schedule and other arrangements governing the child’s schedule in a manner that can provide an adequate basis for preserving and fostering the parental relationship between the child and each parent; and whether each parent is likely to comply with the modification;
  4. The extent to which the parent opposing the legal residence change is motivated by a desire to secure a financial advantage with respect to a support obligation; and
  5. Domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against or witnessed by the child.