Eisenberg, Middleditch & Spilman, PLLC

Relocation plans may spark child custody disputes

Divorce is difficult on children, especially if their parents are combative. Within the first two years of a divorce, nearly 25 percent of parents with child custody move away from the non-custodial parent. Surveys show that children whose divorced parents move more than an hour apart may suffer from a higher level of stress, hostility and unhappiness. While recent studies have confirmed the benefits of having both parents involved in a child's life, if a divorced couple is adversarial, children may experience a lifetime of negative consequences.

There are numerous reasons why a Michigan parent may wish to relocate, not the least of which is to get away from a harassing or abusive ex-spouse. Some parents move to a new place because it has promising job offers, closer relatives or a lower cost of living. However, if the children have a positive relationship with the co-parent, family advocates advise making such a move only when other options are not available.

On the other hand, children who are exposed to abusive or belligerent interaction between their parents may develop a skewed perception of relationships. They may accept these negative actions as normal and perpetuate the abusive behavior in their own intimate relationships. Despite the distance the move may offer, parents may still be required to coordinate adequate visitation, and this is best done together before going to court.

Whether a Michigan parent is considering relocating or is contesting a co-parent's plans to move, having the guidance of a lawyer may prove invaluable. A legal professional will facilitate a mediation or represent one's interests in litigation. Having sound advice during child custody issues may help ensure the best possible resolutions are achieved.

Source: mindpub.com, "Pros And Cons Of Relocation After Divorce", Vijai P. Sharma, Ph.D, Accessed on Jan. 27, 2017

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