Can my wife take my kids to a different state if I'm charged with domestic violence in Michigan?
If charged with domestic violence, there will be a no-contact order in place on day one. Assuming we can remove than you would be able to return home. During this time as long as your kids were not alleged victims of violence, there are no restrictions against seeing them or talking to them.
The above question would be more relevant if the DV charges were followed by a divorce or a custody filing with the family court. This assume the other parent wants to move to another state than where they currently reside against your wishes. Parents can take kids to different states temporarily and if both parents want to move then sure, anyone can change states, but if you are against this move, what's the likely outcome. This is called change of domicile.
Michigan law prohibits a parent of a child in a joint custody arrangement in Michigan from moving more than 100 miles away from the child's legal residence at the time the custody order was issued. There are exceptions in Michigan cases such as the other parent agreeing or if the original residence was initially 100 or more miles away, and this move actually brings the child closer.
Yes, but an award concerning child support, custody and parenting time in Michigan is always subject to the review by a Michigan court, and can be vacated if the judge finds that the award is not in the best interest of the child. A few things to consider.
First, is there a current custody order or judgment in place?
a. If yes, then the domicile or residence of the child/children may not be moved from Michigan without the approval of the court where the order or judgment was entered. In petitioning the court for a change of domicile, you must show proper cause or a change of circumstances.
Unless any of the following exceptions apply under MCL 722.31(2)-(3):
i. The relocating parent has been granted sole legal custody;
ii. The parents’ residences were more than 100 miles apart when the legal action commenced;
iii. The move results in the residences being closer; or
iv. Both parents consent to the residence change. (Such consent must be as to a specific relocation and not one provided in general terms prior to a relocation plan.)
b. If no:
i. Will the non-relocating parent object?
1. If yes, will the move change the child's Established Custodial Environment?
2. If no, obtain consent in writing (e-mail, text, print, etc.) and GO!
If you're charged with domestic violence in Michigan, the charge alone with no impact your ability to see your children as much as you were seeing them before the incident. Now, if the other parent files for divorce or a custody proceeding against you then a determination will be made on parenting time of the children. The big key in Michigan for parenting time is number of overnights, which is how days are determined.
All parenting time agreements are subject to negotiation between the parties, and very rarely do cases go to trial for a judge to determine the parenting time. It just so happens that many dads assume if they are taken away from their family that they will only see their kids every other weekend. Any dad who has that arrangement, there is a 99 percent chance they agreed to that as part of an agreement. It's my experience that modern day judges value dad's presence even more in their kid's life, and it's in the best interest of the kids to see dad more and more. Don't settle for every other weekend, and you'll do a lot better.
With a DV charge which a custody or divorce proceeding follows, a judge may order temporary parenting time during the case, and with a pending DV charge, the parenting time may be supervised, but any final result is likely to be agreed upon rather than to be ruled on by a judge. So a DV charge has the ability to have a temporary impact on seeing your kids in very specific cases, but no long-term determined outcome; you have the power to determine how much you see your kids, and judges favor more vs less.
How do I know if my spouse is filing for divorce in Michigan? I don't want to be caught by surprise by a Michigan divorce
Many clients who are charged with domestic violence are worried that their spouse is meeting with a high-powered divorce attorney who has the tools to take away my client's home, retirement accounts, clear out bank accounts, and take the kids away while demanding spousal and child support. This is terrifying on top of being charged with a serious crime.
As you'd read in my various survival guides, there are different types of domestic violence cases in Michigan, and many cases have a couple, spouse or family member who wants to remain with my client, and is working hard to help us resolve the case. We don't expect a family court case to be opened up against my client, but there are some cases where we need to worry.
If the alleged victim has requested that the no-contact order stay in place, and they have filed for a PPO and obstructed my client seeing his/her kids, and has been difficult about picking up items from the household, I have my team check the online circuit court case search on a regular basis to check for PPO filings and custody/divorce cases.
Along with the initial check of the online sites, I have a sit-down with my client about their options. If my client is falsely accused on domestic violence, and the alleged victim is doing everything in their power to ruin my client's life, I will usually discuss my client's options to file their own family court proceeding if kids are involved or the parties are married.
If kids are involved, especially young ones, it may be difficult to see those kids if they are living with the alleged victim and they don't have their own access to a vehicle or a cellphone. This is when my client needs a circuit court judge to step in and possibly sign an ex-parte order for parenting time and make sure that my client still has the ability to participate in decisions for the children. Just because my client is charged with DV, doesn't mean they are no longer a mom or dad to the kids.
If the parties are married, we discuss filing for a divorce and taking proactive measures with the finances such as filing for ex-parte orders to essentially put a freeze on spending, reallocating assets, closing, withdrawing accounts and money etc. A motivated victim will use the DV charges and potential conviction against my client in a divorce, if they are falsely accused, they need to file a divorce and essentially make a strong point that they do not want to be with someone who is falsely accusing them of a serious crime, and they are fighting the criminal charge and asserting their rights in the circuit court over the couples assets and privileges.
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