Can I Move Out Of State After My Divorce?

When your divorce has finally been settled, and you are ready to move forward with your life, you may be wondering whether you are legally allowed to move out of state. 

If you and your ex did not share children, you have the right to move wherever you like. However, if you and your ex share children, moving out of state may prove to be more challenging than you might have thought.

A respected Alabama family law attorney at the law firm of John M. Totten, P.C. can help you understand your parental and custody rights, so you can make the best decisions for yourself and your family.

The Alabama Relocation Act

Under Alabama‘s Parent-Child Relationship Protection Act, also commonly referred to as the “Relocation Act”, parents are required to comply with these regulations when developing their child custody orders. 

Alabama’s family courts operate under the assumption that children will generally benefit most when both parents continue to be a regular part of their lives, even in instances where their parents are no longer married, in a relationship, or otherwise involved. The Relocation Act specifically prevents parents from relocating in any way that would prevent their children from being able to maintain an ongoing relationship with their other parent.

If you are a parent hoping to relocate, you will be able to do so, as long as you are moving within a sixty-mile radius of the other parent’s home. If you are hoping to move more than sixty miles away from your child’s other parents’ home, in most cases, you will need to provide your notice of relocation within a minimum of forty-five days before your move. 

When formulating your relocation notice, be sure to include the necessary information, including:

  • The reasons for your move
  • Where are you will be moving
  • Your phone number
  • Any other pertinent details about your new home
  • Details about the child’s new school
  • Your revised visitation and custody proposal

It should be noted that your child’s other parent will have thirty days to object to your relocation. If this happens, you will need to be prepared to handle your relocation objection if you hope to continue with your move out of state.

How to Handle a Relocation Objection 

In the event that a child’s non-custodial parent does not give their consent for the relocation, they will need to file an objection with the Alabama family courts. If your child’s other parent has filed an objection, the judge will schedule a hearing where both parents will be required to attend and testify.

Be prepared to discuss the ways in which your children are going to benefit from your relocation. The Alabama family courts will only agree with decisions that they deem to be in the best interest of the child. Be sure to go over what type of visitation and custody plan you will be able to maintain, despite your relocation, how you will handle transportation costs and other important factors.

If the court approves of your out-of-state move, then a revised custody or visitation order will be implemented to ensure that the parent who is not relocating can continue to maintain a relationship with their child.

Whether you are interested in relocating post-divorce with your children, or if your ex is attempting to move out of state with your children, and you need to protect your rights, meet with an experienced Alabama family law attorney today. 

The law firm of John M. Totten, P.C. can help you get through these difficult family law matters. Schedule your initial consultation when you complete our convenient contact form. Or, give our office a call at (256) 233-2025 to get started on your case.

John M. Totten