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FAMILY LAW 28: Changing the domicile of the parties’ minor.

Pursuant to MCR 3.211(C)(3), a parent whose custody or parenting time of a child is governed by a custody order shall not change the legal residence of the child except in compliance with MCL 722.31.

MCL 722.31 provides, in relevant part: (1) A child whose parental custody is governed by court order has, for the purposes of this section, a legal residence with each parent. Except as otherwise provided in this section, a parent of a child whose custody is governed by court order shall not change a legal residence of the child to a location that is more than 100 miles from the child’s legal residence at the time of the commencement of the action in which the order is issued.

Before permitting a legal residence change, the court shall consider each of the following factors:

(a) Whether the legal residence change has the capacity to improve the quality of life for both the child and the relocating parent.

(b) 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.

(c) 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.

(d) 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.

(e) Domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against or witnessed by the child.

The party requesting the change of domicile of the minor child has the burden of establishing by a preponderance of the evidence that the change is warranted.

If you are going through a divorce or are separating from the mother or father of your children, it is important to protect your custodial rights. While it is possible to seek a modification at any time, receiving the modification is much more difficult.

Contact Aldrich Legal Services and schedule a free consultation if you would like to meet with one of our lawyers about your case.

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