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What evidence do I need to bring to a change of domicile hearing?

Traverse City, MI |

I have been divorced for 10 years. We have joint legal custody, but I have primary physical custody. Our visitation schedule is "as both parties mutually agree". He makes no attempt to contact or see our children. He has gone as long as 5 years at a time with no contact. At this point it has been a year since he has seen or spoken to them. He is over $50,000 behind in child support. I have been offered a great fellowship for a doctoral program in Indiana and would like to move there with our children. After several attempts to contact him with no success I filed the appropriate court paperwork for a hearing request and have been granted a hearing where I have been instructed to submit a list of witnesses and evidence to the referee and have no idea what I need or should have. Please help.

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Attorney answers 1


For change of domicile, the court considers 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.” MCL 722.31(4)
You should present evidence to the court supporting these factors. Some documents you may want to consider are: acceptance letter for doctoral program; documents proving income; information relating to schools in the new state; information regarding your proposed new neighborhood; if there has been domestic violence, police reports.

Your witnesses would be anyone who can testify about any of these factors.

If your ex doesn't appear, your motion will probably be granted. However, I would suggest that you contact a lawyer in your area for assistance.

Brenda Richard

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