Childrens Domicile

Childrens Domicile

In today's economy, especially in Michigan, requesting to move a child more than 100 miles or out of the State of Michigan away from the other parent is becoming more common mainly because of loss of and lack of employment in Michigan. In the past, this request was not easily granted, however, under the current economic situation, it is happening more often. This is a tremendously difficult decision for judges, is heart breaking for parents and the issue is usually decided through trial.

Judges do not like to separate parents from children by long distances. This is especially true when children share a considerable amount of time with each parent. When parents share joint legal custody of the children, a parent wishing to locate out of this state or over 100 miles, must request permission from the court, if the other parent will not agree to the relocation.

Considering Changing a Child's Domicile? Schedule a Consultation.

It is critically important for a person considering a change in domicile request to discuss the issue with an attorney. When parents share almost equal or each has considerable amounts of time with their children, a change in domicile will most likely trigger a request for a change in custody by the parent who is not relocating. This makes the entire situation much more litigious and the court is directed by Michigan law to make very specific findings on the children's established custodial environment; whether or not to grant the change in domicile and whether or not to change the custodial arrangement between the parents.

Requirements for Changing Domicile

The requirements for a parent requesting a change in domicile of the children are governed specifically by Michigan statute and case laws. The parent must show that the move is good, not only for the parent, but from the perspective of the children. That parent must show that he or she has tried to find a job in Michigan and he or she has a job opportunity in the other location, financially benefiting the children. The parent wishing to move must demonstrate that area of relocation will be at least the same, if not better for children. This is shown by providing the court with voluminous information on schools, neighborhood amenities, the proposed housing and every detail regarding the new location. The parent must offer a proposed parenting schedule for the left behind parent, showing that the move is not made to destroy the relationship between the children and the other parent. The parent wishing to relocate as well as the parent wanting to prevent the move must also show that no financial gain with respect to child support is at issue. The moving parent must also show that he or she cannot obtain comparable employment in the State of Michigan. The moving parent must show that she or he will provide adequate and regular communication for the other parent, including telephone access and even webcam access.


Whether you are seeking to change your domicile or the other parent of your child is relocating, contact Metro Detroit family law attorney Danielle A. Smith today at (248) 258-2828 to schedule a consultation.