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Brock Guile

Both my ex and I live in indiana and have since 2012. The problem I'm facing is that our initial case is out of Michigan. Indiana courts have taken jurisdiction over the child support but not the child visitation! How hard is it really to transfer the case to Indiana would I need a Michigan lawyer or an Indiana lawyer for this if need be?


Recently recieved Notice of Registration of Out-Of-State Child Custody from MI Court. I currently reside in California of orignal child custody order, but mother moved with child to MI years ago. What does this mean to me. Is it just a record to have on file?

Thanks in advance for your response

Jeanne M. Hannah

I do not have enough information from you in your question above to render an informed opinion. Please call my office to set up a consultation so that I can get more information and help you apply the facts of your case to the applicable law.


I currently reside in Chippewa county Michigan and wanted to know what steps I should take in order to have my child support and custody rights jurisdiction switched from Arizona to Michigan. My son, who I have full physical and joint legal custody has resided in Michigan, with me since March 2006. My ex-husband and sons father has moved around often due to his being in the military, but has not resided in Arizona since January of 2007. My sons father currently resides in Nevada. Neither one of us has a residence nor family in Arizona.

I have been having issues with his not paying his portion of medical bills and other such things and hate to have to try to work with a state that is over 2000 miles away. I spoke with Arizona and they informed me that I would have to have Michigan do something to switch the jurisdiction, but it should not be a problem.

Please what do I need to do to accomplish this and to help alleviate the threats my ex is making and lack of support? Thank you for your time!

Jeanne M. Hannah

Amy, the question you ask is too broad. These cases are very fact-specific. You would need to make an appointment with me for a telephone consultation. Talk to Ginger. 231-275-5600. She makes my appointments. Jeanne M. Hannah


Question regarding a change in domicile to Canada. The relocating parent (the mother) is trying to change the parenting time order in the Toronto Canada courts. Can she do this when Michigan hold jurisdiction? Won't there be two orders then? This is from Brausch v Brausch which is a published COA opinion. Any guidance on what we can do would be great. Can we file something to bring this to the Judge in Kalamazoo county?

Jeanne M Hannah

Christine, the answer to your question depends upon whether your ex-husband remains in Colorado and what amount of parenting time he exercises. You can read more about this issue on this Blog here.

Christine Edwards

i was wondering how i could change jurisdiction from CO to MI.

i had a custody battle in CO and CO granted my ex and i joint custody of our daughter, but i have physical custody of her. my daughter no longer lives in CO and been in MI since 7/09. could MI take jurisdiction over all the orders that CO all ready granted?

Jeanne M Hannah


I would not want to venture an opinion on many of your questions. Louisiana is the one State in the US that operates on Napoleonic law instead of English common law. Therefore, my training and education is in common law and statutes that are, perhaps, different from those in LA.

Let me answer your questions as I would for anyone in one of the other 49 states. This will, perhaps, give you some direction.

First, a mother in your situation in Michigan, would have to file a complaint to establish paternity in Michigan because venue is where the child resides.

My advice to someone in your situation? File a complaint to establish paternity for the purposes of support only. Leave it up to him to ask for parenting time. Perhaps he will. Perhaps he will not.

Second, the law regarding interstate child support is a uniform law, UIFSA. I don't know if LA has yet adopted this law. You'll likely need to use UIFSA to enforce a LA court order for support. That UIFSA enforcement is done in Michigan.


Your blog has been very helpful with understanding some of the differences between Michigan and Louisiana law. I have a question which you have somewhat answered but my case is a little different. I live in Louisiana, where I had my son. My son's father moved to Michigan during my pregnancy, with the intention of "you'll never see my face again." He provided no support, and minimal contact during the pregnancy, but around the time of delivery he decided that he did want to know his son and would like to meet him and agreed to send me money. After delivery, he established more regular contact and became somewhat involved in the child's life, such as asking questions about his development, etc. He sent some money when the baby was 2 weeks old. Now, the baby is 4 months old and the father has declared "He is a free man" and has not given any money and calls only "When I feel like it." Does Michigan recognize the baby's home state as Louisiana? Will I have any issues getting him served papers in the state there? If he is a non-citizen will that cause any other change to our case? Can his immigration status affect his custody rights? Thanks for any help you can give me, my attorney is currently researching Michigan law and I would like to help her out as much as possible!

Jeanne M Hannah


You said that: "He then petitioned in MI and we went through the "change of domicile" process even though my court order specifically stated I could move to another state without further order of the court.
At the conclusion of a full custody investigation and process, I was again awarded sole custody and he has visitation."

Since neither you nor your daughter resided in Michigan and you were a resident of Florida, your custody and parenting time issue should not have occurred in Michigan. Illinois dismissed the custody case because neither parent lived there and Illinois had lost jurisdiction. When he filed in Michigan alleging abandonment, I assume that he filed for "temporary Emergency Jurisdiction." That would have been the time for you to assert jurisdiction in Florida under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act ("UCCJEA").

A court with temporary emergency jurisdiction doesn't have the jurisdiction to modify another State's custody order. There is a section of the UCCJEA that would put jurisdiction squarely in Florida. That section says:

(2) a court of another State does not have jurisdiction under paragraph (1), [in other words, doesn't have "home state" jurisdiction] or a court of the home State of the child has declined to exercise jurisdiction on the ground that this State is the more appropriate forum under Section 207 or 208, and:

(A) the child and the child's parents, or the child and at least one parent or a person acting as a parent, have a significant connection with this State other than mere physical presence; and

(B) substantial evidence is available in this State concerning the child's care, protection, training, and personal relationships.

Fortunately, your situation is one where "subject matter jurisdiction" is the main issue. If he tries to drag you into court in Michigan, you should object on the grounds of lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Michigan should dismiss his action, then.

If you need more help with this, give me a call at my office. (231) 223-7864

Tammy Foster

I was wondering at what point it would be possible to move jurisdiction from one state to another.

My ex and I divorced in IL. Immediately I relocated to MI with our child that I had sole custody of. He moved shortly thereafter to MI.
More than five years later I was remarried and offered a job in another state. I discussed this with my ex and we verbally worked out visitation. (Everything we did was mostly verbal and not court ordered since jurisdiction was in IL and we got along).
After I left for FL, allowing our daughter to spend the summer with him before starting school. He decided instead to seek sole custody through the courts in IL and claim I abandoned her.
The case was dismissed in IL since we hadn't lived there in years.
He then petitioned in MI and we went through the "change of domicile" process even though my court order specifically stated I could move to another state without further order of the court.
At the conclusion of a full custody investigation and process, I was again awarded sole custody and he has visitation.
Last year I obtained an order for arrearages in excess of $150k, which has nothing to do with parenting time, but gives you an understanding of the lack of financial commitment of this person.
I have also had to seek court orders for medical reimbursements since the 2005 MI jurisdiction and FOC support orders.

So, my question is quite simply - since it's a financial burden for me to litigate matters on a continual basis with him being 1200 miles away, and since we've lived in this state just shy of 3 years - at what point can I petition to have jurisdiction moved to the state we reside in?
It would obviously be easier on me and less of a financial burden to travel 5 miles to court rather than 1200 miles where the court is 10 miles from his home. It's convenient for him, and inconvenient for me...and I'm the one with our child.


Jeanne M Hannah

Dear Mr. Green:

I need more information from you before I could comment on your question. I can answer some specific questions and point you in the right direction after I've seen the Michigan court summons you mention.

You can arrange a consultation with me, as I have explained in an email.

Jeanne M. Hannah

Olan Green

I have a situation where I reside in the state of North Carolina and have lived here my entire life. When my son was 2 years old my wife left for Michigan leaving me and my son in North Carolina. After being in Michigan for a little over a year my wife then filed for divorce I didn’t contest it since she voluntarily gave me physical custody of our son. The divorce was final in 2001 Join legal custody was granted and my ex moved back to North Carolina to try to reconcile the relationship and to be closer to our son. She has resided in North Carolina since February of 2001 and has contacted the Friend of Court in Michigan to clear up a dispute we have concerning visitation. Considering the fact that neither of us reside in Michigan and my son and myself have never lived there can the Michigan courts legally tell us what to do? I ask this because I received a court summons in the mail the other day. Thank you for your time.

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