CUSTODY LAW CHANGES
On July 1, 2018, significant changes to the relocation statute took effect. It is important to be informed of these changes in the law and how they could affect you and your children moving forward. This relocation statute will take effect if a custody order is in place and one of the parents wants to move out of state or more than fifty (50) miles from the other parent.
Under the old law, parents had to send a written notice to the non-relocating parent at least sixty (60) days prior to when they plan to move. This notice had to include: (1) a statement of the parent’s intent to move; (2) the location of their proposed new residence; (3) the reasons for the proposed relocation; and (4) a statement that the other parent may file a petition with the court opposing the relocation within thirty (30) days.
Under the new law, there is a change as to what needs to be included in the notice. Parents still have to send a written notice at least sixty (60) days prior to when they plan to move but there are changes as to what needs to be included in that notice. The notice must now include: (1) a statement of the parent’s intent to move; (2) the location of their proposed new residence; (3) the reasons for the proposed relocation; and (4) a statement that “absent an agreement between the parents or an objection by the non-relocating parent within thirty (30) days of the date that the notice is sent by registered or certified mail, the relocating parent will be permitted to do so by law”.
Additionally, if the non-relocating parent objects to the relocation or the parents are unable to come to an agreement on a new visitation schedule within the thirty (30) days from which the letter was sent to the non-relocating parent, then the relocating parent must file a petition seeking approval of the relocation. The non-relocating parent will have thirty (30) days to respond to that petition.
Other Changes To The Relocation Statute
Under the previous law, the time a parent spent with the child was not a factor when determining custody in cases where one parent desired to relocate. Under the new law, the courts focus on what is in the best interest of the child. If the court finds that relocation is in the best interest of the child, then the court will modify the parenting plan and if the court finds that it is not in the best interest of the child, then the court will deny the petition for relocation and will create a new parenting plan that will become effective if the parent relocates.
If you wish to relocate with your child or you are facing the relocation of your child, give us a call for a free consultation. We are here to answer questions and help you make informed decisions. You can reach me by telephone at (615) 567-7306 and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.