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What parents must do if they need to move

On Behalf of | Oct 7, 2022 | Child Custody |

Like many other states, Michigan has a law that sets out what parents who are living separately must do if they want to move.

Parents must follow this law. Otherwise, they could face negative legal consequences, including a court’s prohibiting them from moving or a court’s imposing other penalties.

This law applies whenever a parent wants to move and is subject to a court’s custody and parenting time orders.

On that note, though, it is a good idea for a parent also to read the most recent order itself. The order may include additional rules a parent must follow. It also may in some cases allow parents not to follow this law.

Parents must get permission from the court in order to make certain moves

Generally speaking, a parent has to get permission from the court in order to move more than 100 miles from their current residence. The law applies to both parents and not just to the parent who has custody of the child most of the time.

Before granting permission to move, the court will consider a number of factors. As usual, the court’s focus when deciding whether to grant permission will be on the best interest of the child involved.


Michigan’s law has several noteworthy exceptions.

First, as might be expected, if the other parent agrees to the move, then the court does not have to grant permission.

Second, if at the time of the move the parent wanting to move has sole legal custody over the child, meaning that this parent alone makes important life decisions for the child, then this law does not apply.

Third, geography plays an important role in whether the statute applies. If parents already live more than 100 miles apart from each other, the law does not apply. Likewise, the law does not apply if the move will mean the two parents live closer to each other.

Parents in Bloomfield Hills or the other communities around Detroit who need to move may want to consult with their family law attorney about their options. The Michigan relocation statute can be difficult to apply to some situations.