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Shelley A. Kester
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Shelley Kester’s Answers

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  • Change of domicile help

    If I remarry someone who lives out of state, can I change the domicile of my child to that state, if it was previously stated in my divorce, that I could not move at this time? I have sole physical custody and joint legal. The dad is involved i...

    Shelley’s Answer

    In order to change the domicile of your child from the State of Michigan, you must obtain permission from the Court.

    The most cost effective way is for your co-parent to sign a Stipulation and Order permitting you to change the domicile and legal residence of your child to the next state where you hope to move, which the Court will likely sign.

    If your co-parent will not agree, it will be necessary for you to file a motion to change the domicile of your child. If you share joint legal custody with your co-parent, you will also need to obtain court permission to change your minor child's legal residence by more than 100 miles. Even if you move less than 100 miles, if the move creates a substantial change of circumstances affecting the best interests of the child, you could face a motion to modify custody by your co-parent.

    Factors the court considers when evaluating whether to grant a motion to change legal residence are:

    (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.

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