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« "Fault" after the fact doesn't negate an alimony award | Main | How to get the trial court to consider the Friend of the Court report or recommendation »


Jeanne M Hannah


There is a newer case that talks specifically about this. The short answer is yes you can move beyond the 100 miles because you have sole legal custody, but you do need approval from the court to move out of Michigan (and that should not be difficult to get.). See this recent post and read the case dealing specifically with this topic.


Star K.

I am trying to get information on Change of Domicile. I am moving from MI to FL with my daughter who I have sole custody of. Do I need to go before the court? Do I have to tell the father? Can he stop me? Can the court stop me? My Child support agreement says that I can not change domicile out of state without court approval. The parenting time is "reasonable." Thanks

Jeanne M Hannah


It is a violation of the court's order for your husband to refuse to allow you court-ordered summer parenting time. Perhaps your current order doesn't have a specific summer parenting time provision. You need to file a motion to obtain one. Of course, the summer is nearly over, but you might be able to file a "show cause" motion for contempt and get a hearing before the court for some parenting time.

Your husband may fear that you will refuse to return the children. There are ways to assure him that you are NOT planning a parental abduction (by refusing to return the children).

Click on the "Parental Kidnapping" link on the right-hand side of this Blog. Read the two articles that deal with prevention of parental kidnapping. There are important resources there to help you and your ex-husband devise a plan that will help him feel safe about letting the children visit with you.

Best of luck. Jeanne

Nicole Spence

I have joint custody of my kids and have already moved to the UK. I didn't know that I had to get permission to move if I was not moving my children.

I married someone from the UK and am seeking citizenship here. Now I would like to see my kids for a few weeks in the summer. My ex husband is not allowing this.

I am really to the point where I just want to give up.
What should I do?

Jeanne M Hannah

Why can't you subpoena the father's federal tax returns to see what his income is? Subpoena them going back 5 years. Given the description above, it's hard to believe that he would not be filing IRS returns.

As for the parenting time issue, I agree that having the child miss two days of school per month is less than ideal. However, consider the alternative. If parenting time were modified to occur in Wisconsin, then he might get alternate weekends, causing more disruption. I gather from your recital of facts that he doesn't have extended summer parenting time. Until he's willing to trade reasonable school year parenting time for it -- by that, I mean time that doesn't cause the child to miss school -- I recommend not giving him anything other than what is court-ordered. Perhaps that will cause him to change his mind.

James Gleason

I am interested in opinions on a child custody case in Newaygo County, MI.

This case involves my wife and step daughter. My wife left her significant other in February of 03. At the time she and her daughter were living with the childs biological father in Newaygo County. They were not married and there was no custody arrangement or child support arrangement at that time. My wife left because of abusive behavior and alcohol abuse displayed by her ex on a regular basis. Both in the presence of the child.

After leaving Michigan and returning to her home state of Wisconsin My wife then received a summons to appear in court in Michigan for a custody hearing which was initiated by her ex. The court awarded my wife primary physical placement and Joint legal custody. The biological father was then ordered to pay child support and 50% of all medical bills incurred that are not covered by medical insurance.

After being ordered to pay child support the biological father then decided to deny being the father of the child. In fact his name is not on the birth certificate. The court ordered a paternity test to take place and issued a stay on child support until the determination of the paternity test was received.

The test proved the ex was the biological father and child support was ordered to resume.

In 2005 the biological father then petitioned the court to suspend child support on the grounds that his family farm had been sold and he no longer had employment.

The court ordered child support to continue.

The biological father then petitioned the court to stay child support on the grounds that he is disabled and offered no evidence to the court to support his claims of disability.

The court granted his motion and suspended his child support pending his supposed social security disability claim.

In 2005 his Social security Claim was denied.

A motion was filed to continue child support at which time the biological father argued that he had filed an appeal on his social security claim. Even though he again offered no proof of disability to the court.

The biological fathers motion was granted. This is an erroneous decision by the court in that the decision does not comply with MCL 400.233b(2) Child support arrearage amnesty period; designation; terms and conditions; administration; notification. Which states the payer cannot receive amnesty unless he pays at least 50% of the arrearages with the written request for amnesty. 400.233b(1) states that amnesty cannot last longer than 7 months. In this case it has been nearly 5 years.

The biological fathers medical records were subpoenaed and prove he is NOT disabled. The court disregards this evidence and continues to not enforce the child support order. At this point the biological father has not paid anything toward incurred medical expenses.

During this entire time the biological father has made numerous threats to take the child and move to Florida where the mother will not be able to find her.The father states that the judge comes to his families restaurant and eats all the time and he has conversations with the judge all the time. He tells my wife there is no way she will win.

The court is notified of these threats and orders the biological father can have supervised visitations of which the first 5 are to take place in Wisconsin. These visitations are to be supervised by his parents.

The parents fail to meet their obligation to supervise the visitations and openly admit this in court.
The court does nothing to enforce the order for supervised visitations.

During the next visitation the biological father and the grandfather become violent and attack my wife in front of the child. Restraining orders are filed and denied on the basis that my wife only had an audio tape of the entire incident and not a video tape.
The audio tape clearly depicts my wife being shoved into the side of her car and threatened by the biological father and his father. Both making statements that the Michigan judge has made promises to them exparte to have her "locked up."

This tape is offered to the Michigan Judge as evidence and the judge refuses to hear the tape.

In April 2007 My wife files for a transfer of jurisdiction in the Michigan Court. The same judge agrees that Wisconsin is the clearly the childs "home state." However, the judge state he cannot transfer jurisdiction at that time because he has no case in Wisconsin to transfer the case to. The judge grants my wife 60 days in which she is to open a custody case in Wisconsin, re-notice the court, and set up a phone conference between the Michigan Judge and the Wisconsin Judge for the same time. Upon meeting these requirements the judge states he will transfer jurisdiction.

In May of 2007 the biological father files a motion to request additional parenting time. During the hearing the biological fathers attorney dismisses his motion for additional parenting time and instead requests the court to grant my wife Primary legal custody of the child. My wife accepts the Primary legal custody and the court so orders the change in custody.

In June of 2007, within the 60 days granted by the court , my wife has filed a custody case in Wisconsin, re-noticed the Michigan Court and set up a telephone conference between the Wisconsin Judge and the Michigan Judge, essentially fulfilling all requirements of the court hearing in April of 2007.

The Michigan Judge then states to my wife, "you have Primary Physical custody and Primary legal custody, what more do you want? I have no reason to transfer jurisdiction to Wisconsin. The judge then orders that my wife must pay the biological father $500.00 towards his attorney fees. Even though he owes my wife over $12000.00 in child support arrearages. The court also orders that parenting time will continue as ordered in the 2003 court order. The judge also belittles my wife because she is not represented by an attorney. ( we had an attorney but he was doing nothing but filing motions that were not heard by the court in an effort to charge us a ridiculous amount in fees so we fired the attorney. We no longer have the finances available for an attorney.)

The 2003 court order states the biological father can have visitation on the first Thursday of the month at 5 pm continuing until the following Monday at 5 pm.

This visitation was fine when the child was 2 years old. The child is now 6 years old and in school. This visitation schedule would mean she would miss two days of school per month for visitations, not including any days she may be ill and need to miss school. In accordance with her teachers this is not in the child's best interest.

In August 2007, the biological father then agrees in a verbal agreement of which we have an audio tape that he will not do anything to make the child miss school. In turn we agree that he can have visitation on any weekend he wants as long as it is here in Wisconsin. During the summer he will be allowed extended visitation. The biological father agrees.

In September 2007, the biological father comes to Wisconsin demanding he be allowed to take the child to Michigan from Thursday to Monday as stated in the 2003 court order. My wife denied the visitation in the best interest of the child. She would have to miss school. The biological father then threatens her with further court proceedings and leaves.

I am interested in opinions in this case. I have been present for the court hearings and witnessed the inappropriate behavior of the court. I believe there has been exparte communications between the biological father and the judge. It is obvious since the judge has not made the father pay child support for almost 5 years now.

We have evidence that the father is not disabled, he is the CEO of a for profit company with 3 employees, he makes $50.00 per hour and we also have recent pictures of him operating farm equipment. He has also admitted that he still operates the family farm.

The judge refuses to hear any of this evidence.We do have transcripts of all of the court hearings and in fact the transcript from the last hearing was missing almost an entire page. We had to notify the court clerk that we were going to pursue legal action before we were actually given the complete transcript.

Whats wrong here?

Feel free to email me at [email protected]

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