Monday, April 08, 2019

Changing childs legal Residence.


Standard for Change of Legal Residence Motions
Presented here by Terry Bankert  Flint / Genesee County MI Family Law Lawyer (810) 235-1970,

§3.27   Where the court is called on to approve a change of legal residence over the other parent’s objection, MCL 722.31(4) lists five factors to be considered, with the directive that the court’s primary focus is on the child:

(a) Whether the legal residence change has the capacity to improve the quality of life for both the child and the relocating parent.

(b) The degree to which each parent has complied with, and utilized his or her time under, a court order governing parenting time with the child, and whether the parent’s plan to change the child’s legal residence is inspired by that parent’s desire to defeat or frustrate the parenting time schedule.

(c) The degree to which the court is satisfied that, if the court permits the legal residence change, it is possible to order a modification of the parenting time schedule and other arrangements governing the child’s schedule in a manner that can provide an adequate basis for preserving and fostering the parental relationship between the child and each parent; and whether each parent is likely to comply with the modification.

(d) The extent to which the parent opposing the legal residence change is motivated by a desire to secure a financial advantage with respect to a support obligation.

(e) Domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against or witnessed by the child.

MCL 722.31(4) only requires that a court consider each listed factor and does not require a statement of its factual findings and conclusions with each factor as long as they were considered adequately enough to facilitate appellate review under MCR 3.210(D)(1). Yachcik v Yachcik, 319 Mich App 24, 900 NW2d 113 (2017).[JBB 3.]

A court deciding a change of legal residence motion should first decide whether the movant has shown by a preponderance of the evidence that the change is warranted based on MCL 722.31(4). Rains v Rains, 301 Mich App 313, 326–327, 836 NW2d 709 (2013), criticized on other grounds by Grange Ins Co v Lawrence, 494 Mich 475, 835 NW2d 363 (2013).[JBB 3.]

If the movant meets this burden, the court must decide if an established custodial environment exists. 301 Mich App at 327. If the court finds that there is an established custodial environment, it must next decide whether the change of residence would alter that environment. Id. at 328. If the residence change will alter the established custodial environment, the movant must show by clear and convincing evidence that the move “is in the child’s best interest.” Id. Caselaw supports that all of these issues may be dealt with in one evidentiary hearing. See Rains; Iwanska v Nielsen, No 251396 (Mich Ct App Mar 23, 2004) (unpublished).[JBB 3.]

Presented here by Terry Bankert  Flint / Genesee County MI Family Law Lawyer (810) 235-1970,