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How do I request jurisdiction to be changed so I can modify a custody order from Michigan to Kentucky?

Bowling Green, KY |

My daughter lives with me in Kentucky and has for 6 years . Her mother and I were divorced in Michigan in 2003 , I didn't go to the divorce proceedings and she was given physical custody and we both have legal . I moved to KY in 2007 and right after I got here she wanted me to come and get her and keep her , she was failing school miserably . I have never modified the original order from Michigan . I want to change jurisdiction from MI to KY so I can have the custody order modified . All the MI court did was divorce us and do the custody , it has been closed since 2003 . How do I go about doing this ? and what is the process , and will it be difficult ?

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

You will need to file the motion to modify custody in Michigan. With that motion, you can file a motion to transfer the case to Kentucky. If the mother still lives in Michigan and fights the jurisdiction, it can get a bit difficult. You have the advantage though that your daughter already lives with you in Kentucky as one of the factors to change jurisdiction would be that the child has resided in another state for a period in excess of 6 months and the now relevant witness live in Kentucky. If the mother agrees, you can file the motion to modify and to transfer the case to KY by consent. It will serve you best to have an attorney in Michigan prepare and file these motions.

Asker

Posted

If her mother tries to fight me, which she might just for the point of her getting upset that I am doing it, do you think that it will be difficult and I could possibly lose her?

Sean F. McIlveen

Sean F. McIlveen

Posted

Remember, she is holding a court order for custody. She can demand that the child return home right now if she wanted to do so. If she did, and you refused to send her, you would be in contempt of a court order. You can file to modify the court order in Michigan, but until it is changed, she has that card to play. I do think that it might be difficult, and there may be a period that she has to stay with her mom. The end result should be that she is with you, but getting to that point is the hard part.

David B Pittman

David B Pittman

Posted

Great answer!!

Asker

Posted

I understand thats the law, but morally she has been with me for 6 years, and her mother dosent even want to be bothered with her half the time. She might she her twice a year, but most of the time once. She is not stable, and she hasent supported her at all in 6 years. If she tries to fight it at all it will be mealy just the point for her, and not because she actually wants her. I just dont understand why she would be with her mother for a short time or why it would be thatdifficult. You would seem to think that because she has been in another state for 6 years that they would just transfer it and it would be more simple. Court order or no court order.

Asker

Posted

Why would Michigan want it if the child has been gone for 6 years?

Sean F. McIlveen

Sean F. McIlveen

Posted

Michigan probably doesn't want the case, but they cannot legally transfer the case without a motion to modify and to vacate jurisdiction since the mother still lives there. Sorry.

Posted

I agree with counsel, and yes it could get expensive, but proper jurisdiction is generally based on where the minor resides. Best of luck!

Posted

It actually isn't as simple as the other counsel have stated. It is more complicated than that...there isn't a case here in KY to transfer to, so under some laws that all 50 states have, you'd need to open a case in KY to bring the case from MI. An experienced family law attorney will know this process and can help guide you through it. It is highly technical and I strongly recommend having an attorney do it for you.