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3 questions when a court considers parental relocation

When you and your ex have a child together, you may lose your freedom to just move anywhere that you desire. For longer moves -- more than 100 miles -- you may need to ask the court for permission for a parental relocation. After all, the move could take the child almost entirely out of your ex's life if he or she is not also going to move.

Each case is considered individually, and many factors must be considered. Below are three questions the court will typically ask.

1. How much will the child and the other parent still see each other?

You have a schedule for parenting time. Your ex has, at least, visitation rights. Maybe he or she just sees the child every other weekend. Even so, a long move to another state could strip your ex even of those scheduled visits, and the court has to know how your move will impact the initial custody agreement.

2. Is the move going to improve your life and the child's?

You're often not allowed to move just because you want a change. There has to be some clear reason that will improve the quality of life you both enjoy -- such as moving closer to grandparents who can help raise the child or moving because of a lucrative job offer.

3. Do you have any improper motivation?

For example, maybe you and your ex don't get along. Out of spite, you decide to move to California just so that your ex never gets to see the child. That move could be blocked.

Overall, the court wants to make sure this isn't a power play by you or your ex. They want to ensure that the move puts the child's best interests first. If you find yourself in this position, it can be frustrating to see how little freedom of movement you have. It's crucial to understand how the legal process works and what you can do to work toward getting that approval.

Source: FindLaw, "What Are the Requirements for Out-of-State Parental Relocation in Michigan?," accessed Aug. 24, 2017

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