As an Alabama Divorce and Family Law Attorney one of the most common and most difficult situations is one where the former spouse who has physical custody of the couple's children threatens to move away. Often this leaves the non-custodial parent feeling as if they have been marginalized and removed from the lives of their children. There are some things that can be done to prevent the move or mitigate its effects.
There is a section of the Alabama Code titled the "Alabama Parent-Child Relationship Protection Act" that deals with just this type of situation. As with many other such safeguards, time is of the essence. Action must be taken immediately to prevent the non-custodial parent from losing their rights under this act.
The "Alabama Parent-Child Relationship Protection Act" can be found under section 30-3-160 of the Code of Alabama. One of the basic requirements under this act is that the custodial parent must provide to the non-custodial parent written notice 45 days in advance of any move greater than 60 miles from that parent's current residence. Then, the non-custodial parent has 30 days to respond by filing a written objection to the move.
Once a written objection has been filed, the Court will set a hearing date when arguments will be heard by both sides in the matter. The Court must then decide if the move is in the best interest of the child or children. There are several possible outcomes including change in custody, not allowing the move, or allowing the custodial parent to move as requested.
If the custodial parent is allowed to move as requested, it is important for the non-custodial parent to address any visitation issues raised by the move. There could be changes in the visitation schedule because of the added distance, or the Court could require the custodial parent to bear the added cost of transportation for visits.
If you or a loved one is in the position where a former spouse is threatening to move away with the children, you need to get an experienced family law attorney to help as soon as possible. Contact me today for a free consultation.