What You Should Know about Michigan’s 100-Mile Law
When parents divorce, they naturally split up the familial household. One parent may remain in the familial home with children while the other finds a new place to live, or parents may elect to sell a home and split the proceeds, with each moving to new homes, just for example.
However, one parent may decide to leave not only the family residence, but also to relocate to a new town or city. There are many reasons why one parent might make such a drastic move after divorce – perhaps to create physical distance from the ex-spouse, or maybe to live with family members or take a better job.
Regardless, there are laws in place to protect parents’ rights to equal parenting time or visitation following a divorce, and one of them relates to the distance parents may relocate without the need for court approval. Here’s what you need to know about Michigan’s 100-mile law.
What is the 100-Mile Law?
In a nutshell, this law allows divorced parents that are sharing custody of children to relocate without court approval, provided the area of relocation is within 100 miles of the other parent. This law is designed to ensure that the rights of both parents and the best interests of the children are protected. When parents are allowed to move within a 100-mile radius of one another, it ensures that there is no undue burden or detriment to swapping kids so that each parent enjoys their allotted parenting time.
It also allows parents the opportunity to seek gainful employment within a certain range, move closer to family members in neighboring towns, or even seek a new residence that isn’t so close to an ex-spouse, in order to avoid bumping into each other around the neighborhood, just for example. In other words, it allows each parent some latitude to live their lives without trampling the rights of the other parent to partake of equal parenting time.
Caveats to Consider
Although a parent may move within 100 miles of the other parent, there could be some significant drawbacks to doing so. The children will still have to be exchanged according to the court approved schedule for parenting time, and the parent that moves may have to go out of his/her way to make this happen.
In addition, parents that share legal custody have to agree on children switching schools. If the parent that stays put refuses, then the parent that moves is responsible for getting kids to school, even if that means driving 100 miles each way to do so. Finally, the 100-mile law precludes moving out of state of Michigan, even if it’s only a 10-mile distance.
Even if a move is within the 100-mile limit, there could be problems if the stationary parent objects. If the move is not in the best interests of kids, like if they are constantly late to school or if the distance impacts equal parenting time, the stationary parent can petition the court to modify the custody agreement or the parenting schedule.
If one parent is thinking of relocating, even within the 100-mile radius, it’s best to consult a lawyer to ensure all legal requirements are met. Contact the professionals at The Gucciardo Law Firm today at 248-723-5190 to learn more.
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