My ex-spouse wants to move out of state with our children. Can they do that?

Michigan law allows a parent with primary custody of a child to move up to 100 miles away from where they lived at the time the court issued the custody order, but they must remain in the state. To move any further away, or to move out of Michigan, the parent either needs the other parent’s consent or a court order.

How can I change my support or custody order?

A court order regarding child support, custody, or parenting time cannot be changed in Michigan without going back to court and getting a new order. Modifying an order usually requires some significant change in circumstances for you or the child, such as a large increase or decrease in income for the parent paying child support.

What can I do if my child’s other parent is refusing to let them see or speak to me?

If a parent is withholding access to a child, they may be in violation of the custody order. It might be necessary to go back to court to enforce the order.

When can a child refuse parenting time with a parent?

If a child is consistently refusing to visit one parent during that parent’s scheduled parenting time, a judge might need to review the custody order to see if changes are necessary.

When can a child choose which parent they want to live with?

A child under the age of 18 cannot decide where they want to live entirely on their own in Michigan. A court may consider “the reasonable preference of the child” as one of many factors when making child custody decisions, or it may decide that the child is too young to state a preference. The decision is never left solely to the child.

Do I need to prove my spouse was at fault to get a divorce in Michigan?

Michigan is a “no-fault” divorce state. A judge may consider fault, however, when making decisions about property division and spousal support. “Fault” could include adultery, abuse, or abandonment.