Your ex-partner wants to move your kids out of Alabama to another state. Out-of-state relocations can alter the terms of your custody and parenting time agreement, making it harder for you to see and maintain a relationship with your kids. Parental relocation rules are often confusing for many parents. Here is some information that can help you to protect your parental rights.
Notice of intent
In many divorce and child custody agreements, there is a clause that discusses relocations. If your former partner intends to move with your kids 60 or more miles away from you, then they must provide you with official written notice at least 45 days before the relocation date. The notice should contain information about your children’s new address, school, why the move is necessary and provide an alternate parenting and custody agreement. It should also inform you of your right to dispute the move with the courts within 30 days.
Right to dispute
If you do not exercise your right to object to the move, the courts may allow your ex-partner to move to another state with your kids. They may also allow the proposed changes to your parenting agreement to take place, which may prevent you from having access to your children. If you do file a dispute, the courts will inform your kids’ other parent to not move until a hearing takes place to decide the matter. During the hearing, the courts will listen to any arguments you and your ex-partner have regarding the move and base their decisions on the best interests of your children.
For example, if your former partner is planning to move out of state because of a job offer that gives better pay and benefits to provide a better quality of life for your children, the courts may allow the move. But if the other parent is moving for unclear reasons that may interfere with the relationship between you and your kids, they may not allow it. The courts will also consider other factors to determine if a relocation request is made in good or bad faith, such as the children’s ages, their relationship with both parents and whether they want to move.
If you have a good relationship with your children’s other parent, you should discuss the intent to relocate. You should both try to work out an agreement that benefits everyone. If that is not possible, you may need to speak to an attorney about your situation to learn more about your options.