Throughout the Hoover, Birmingham, and Columbiana Area and Beyond
You have remarried, and your new spouse just got a job in another state. You have primary physical custody of the children. What are your obligations? You have regular weekly visitation with your children, but have been told your ex now wants to move them hours away. What are your rights? The State of Alabama has a child relocation statute, which requires each party that has custody or the right of visitation with a child to notify other parties who have custody of or the right of visitation with the child of the following in the event of an impending move of the child:
- The intended new residence, including the specific street address, if known;
- The mailing address, if not the same as the street address;
- The telephone number or numbers at such residence, if known;
- If applicable, the name, address and telephone number of the school to be attended by the child, if known;
- The date of the intended change of principal residence of a child;
- A statement of the specific reasons for the proposed change of principal residence of the child; and
- A proposal for a revised schedule of custody of or visitation with a child, if any.
This is a responsibility of each parent until the child reaches the age of majority as long as that parent is entitled to custody or visitation. Additionally, unless you are a member of the Armed Forces and are being relocated involuntarily, you MUST provide a warning to your non-relocating ex that an objection to the relocation must be made within 30 days of receipt of the notice or the relocation will be permitted. You must give notice by certified mail of the proposed change of principal residence on or before the 45th day before a proposed change of principal residence. If you do not know and cannot reasonably become aware of such information in sufficient time to provide a 45-day notice, you must give such notice by certified mail not later than the 10th day after the date that you obtain such information. If you do not properly notify your ex of your intent to move with the minor child may, the Court will take your noncompliance into account if your ex asks the Court to modify custody or visitation. If you are served with such a notice by an ex intending to move with your child, you must file a motion with the court seeking to prevent your child from moving within 30 days of receipt of the notice. If you fail to object in writing with the court to this move, it will automatically be authorized. Proper compliance with the child relocation statute is imperative if you intend to move with your child. Likewise, if you fail to comply with the objection procedures, you will find your child hundreds of miles away, and your weekly visitation impractical. If you find yourself needing advice on the issue of child relocation in a divorce or other setting, contact the Birmingham family law attorneys at Boles Holmes White LLC.