MCR 3.211 states that every custody order must contain a provision that prohibits changing the domicile of the children from the state of Michigan without permission of the court. Therefore, if you are contemplating a move more than 100 miles from the child's current residence (domicile), there are factors that must be considered.
If the parties have been awarded joint legal custody and live within 100 miles of each other at the time the case started, MCL 722.31 applies. MCL 722.31 establishes a legal residence for the children with each parent. This statute prohibits the parents from moving the child's residence more than 100 miles at the time the case was commenced without court permission or permission from the other party.
MCL 722.31(4) sets out factors the court must consider when ruling on a motion to move beyond the 100-mile limit.
There are four exceptions to the 100 mile move-away rule:
- The other parent consents to the move;
- One of the parties has sole legal custody;
- When the original custody determination was made, the parties already lived 100 miles or more apart; or
- The move brings the parents closer to one another (unless the move is out of state).
If you are contemplating a move more than 100 miles from the child's domicile, or are having to defend a change of domicile motion filed by the other party, please contact Laurie Schmitt to discuss your obligations and rights.
Laurie Schmitt of Schmitt Law, PLLC is a West Michigan family law attorney specializing in collaborative divorce as well as separation, divorce, child custody and support, paternity, and other family law litigation. She is licensed by Michigan State Bar and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, and has extensive advanced training in divorce mediation and collaborative divorce. Contact Laurie at (616) 608-4634 for a confidential consultation.