Saturday, February 24, 2007

Relocation: how it affects more than custody and the relocating parent

I have posts here and here detailing more on how a custodial parent relocating may affect child custody. However, the statute requires attention from anyone with parenting time rights or grandparent visitation rights. The court has the power to modify any of these rights - if the person with those rights requests a modification from the court. The court will do nothing on its own.

I also read the statute as requiring notice from the non-custodial parent. The statute starts with this language: "[a]
relocating individual must file a notice of the intent to move with the clerk of the court...." The statute's remainder contains a grab bag which tilts the matter towards custodial parents but not so much as to absolve the non-custodial parent of giving notice of any change of residence. While the statute penalizes a custodial parent who moves (see my post here), the non-custodial parent faces no comparable penalty. How the non-custodial parent will be penalized is by increasing his or her costs to exercise parenting time.

The statute provides protections if there is a risk of substantial harm to the parent or child by disclosing any of the required information. Thus, a custodial parent who believes they faces harm from another has no justification in moving and not giving notice.

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