Is It Abandonment If One Party Moves Out of State?

moving out divorceQuestion:

My ex and I have joint physical and legal child custody of our son.

However, she has moved out of state saying she would return periodically for visitation.

Is she allowed to move out of state without the court’s permission? Would this be considered abandonment by ignoring the court order and her son?


I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Michigan law where I am licensed to practice.

Under Michigan law when both parties share legal custody, a child has legal residence with both parents and that legal residence cannot be moved to a location more than 100 miles from the child’s original legal residence, except with consent of the other parent or by permission of the court, or unless the move would cause the child’s two legal residences to be closer to each other.

In the situation you describe, it does not seem that your ex-wife has obtained your permission or the court’s permission to move. Therefore, your ex-wife cannot change your son’s legal residence.

Although, what your ex-wife has done does not amount to abandonment it does need to be reported to the Friend of the Court. You are both required to report any changes in your residence to the Friend of the Court immediately. You should also file a motion to modify parenting time to reflect your new change in circumstance.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with an attorney in your jurisdiction.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Kathryn Carruthers, an associate attorney in the Michigan offices, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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One comment on “Is It Abandonment If One Party Moves Out of State?

    Wife had emotional problems, claimed abuse and abandoned my daughter and I and moved out of state 2 years ago. She has only seen our daughter once since then and our daughter wants nothing to do with her.

    My spouse was found to have lied about incidents in court, lied to a woman’s shelter for her reasons for being there and our daughter would not lie for her on the stand…and when she lost her case for custody she abandoned us.

    Can I divorce her without her contesting it? I will not object to her trying to see out daughter, and will agree with joint custody provided our daughter wants to see her.

    Can I divorce her without her consent given that she abandoned us and has refused all means to reconcile?

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