Our firm sees people on a regular basis that want to change custody. Michigan law requires “Proper Cause and/or Changed Circumstances”. Some parents think that it is proper to just move if it means a better job for them and a financial better life, but in some cases this could be a violation of Michigan law and the move could create a “Changed Circumstances” for the other parent to seek a change of custody.
The Heisler Law Group can guide a parent through the request to move or take steps if a parent moves the children in violation of MCL 722.31.
In February 2015, the Michigan Court of Appeals decided in an unpublished opinion that “a move by the custodial parent in violation of MCL 722.31 constitutes a change in circumstance that authorizes the trial court to reopen the custody matter.” While the February 2015 decision was unpublished and not binding on other courts, the decision the 2015 Court relied on was based on a Michigan Appeals Court decision, Sehlke v. Vandermaas, 268 Mich. App. 262 (2005) that is binding on all trial courts in the State of Michigan.
Michigan family law is complex and one should consult with a competent family law attorney when there will be proposed changes to children of a divorce or custody matter. Just because the case in the trial court is done, the judge still retains jurisdiction over the children (and the parties).
If the other parent has moved or is talking about moving, or you are wanting to move with your children, you should consult with an attorney with the Heisler Law group to find out your rights and duties as it relates to the children. An error in judgment could result in you losing custody of your children or allow you to seek custody of your children. Just because a parent may have sole physical custody, they may not be able to just change schools