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The Law Blogger is a law-related blog that informs and discusses current matters of legal interest to readers of The Oakland Press and to consumers of legal services in the community. We hope readers will  find it entertaining but also informative. The Law Blogger does not, however, impart legal advice, as only attorneys are licensed to provide legal counsel.
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Monday, March 30, 2009

Invoking 100-Mile Rule Could Cost a Parent Custody

A recent Michigan Court of Appeals decision changed physical custody of the parties' minor child from the Mother to the Father when Mother moved from Ludington to Traverse City. Since the move was less than 100-miles, Mother believed that she did not need to seek the permission of the court to "endorse" the move. She was wrong. At the time of the impending move, Father filed a motion to modify his parenting time due to Mother's proposed move. The family court conducted an evidentiary hearing on the parenting time and custody issues because the move would have unavoidably transformed one of the parents into a "weekend parent", and also appeared to affect the "established custodial environment" which the child had in both households.

The court of appeals affirmed the family court and Father now has custody. Mother could have elected to stay in Ludington, and remain the primary custodial parent of her daughter. Instead, she chose to move to TC and lost physical custody as a result. Thus, sometimes it pays to put more emphasis on the best interests of the children than on your own personal and professional goals. This Mother probably thought she would have no problem in taking her child away from the Father. Michigan law allows the custodial parent to move up to 100-miles without the family court judge's permission.

The case illustrates how legal issues of parenting time and custody blend together and how important the location of the respective parents can be if they cannot agree on these issues and are forced to litigate them in court.

The case can be found at the following link: http://coa.courts.mi.gov/documents/OPINIONS/FINAL/COA/20080408_C280622_31_49O-280622OPN.PDF

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

its about time that the father received a fair shake it the custody battle....mother seem to have 10 times the rights of father, and i think that is ridiculous. i am married w/ one child, and dont want a divorce, but the rules that foc uses is barbaric. i have plenty of friends who are divorced and spend every waking moment w/ there the children, and they can barley live because theses judges make them pay a enormous amount of money. i thought foc was about the children, i find that hard to believe.

April 1, 2009 at 4:35 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Attn Anonymous... YOU are exactly correct...I have been in FOC offices from chippewa county down to oakland county and the men get the raw end of the deal....Michigan would not get federal funding if the child support arrearages were to decrease. Having said that...now you should understand why they (FOC) sets child support tooooooooo high at the very beginning of hte first born child.

April 13, 2009 at 9:28 PM 
Blogger Timothy P. Flynn said...

Dear Anonymous:
Sounds like you've had a difficult experience in the family court. As to your second post, however, the FOC does not establish the amount of your child support obligation, that is done through the Mich Child Support Formula, published by the Mich Supreme Court, and takes into account the relative incomes and overnight parenting schedule of the parties.

April 14, 2009 at 5:31 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the child support obligation is done through a formula, how can one's support keep going up when his pay goes down and his ex wife's pay stays the same....
his pay has gone down for the last three years and child support has gone up $400.00.

August 24, 2009 at 9:47 AM 

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