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Relocation of Parents with Minor Children

DISCLAIMER: This is intended to be an educational and informational guide.  It is not intended to be or to substitute for legal advice and representation.  Law, legal requirements, and procedures vary from place to place.  It is advisable to consult an attorney.

Content of Notice

When a parent having custody or parenting time with a minor child is going to move to a new residence, the relocating parent must file a written notice with the court and send a copy of the notice to the non-relocating parent.  The copy must be sent to the non-relocating parent by registered or certified mail at least ninety (90) days before the move.

The notification must include the following information unless providing specific information to the non-relocating parent will create a significant risk of substantial harm to the moving parent or the child:

  1. The address of the new residence
  2. The mailing address of the relocating parent, if the mailing address is different than the address of the new residence.
  3. The home telephone number of the new residence.
  4. Any other telephone number of the relocating parent, such as cell phone and work phone.
  5. The date of the move.
  6. A brief statement of the specific reasons for the proposed relocation of the child.
  7. A proposed revised parenting time schedule, if changes are needed due to the move.
  8. A statement that if the non-relocating parent has an objection to the relocation of the child, the non-relocating parent must file that objection with the Court no later than sixty (60) days after receipt of the notice.
  9. A statement that the non-relocating parent may file a written petition to modify the current custody, parenting time or child support order.

If the relocating parent is unable to provide the above information ninety (90) days before the move, the relocating parent must provide the information no later than ten (10) days after obtaining the information and no less than thirty (30) days before moving.

Significant Risk of Substantial Harm

If the relocating parent believes giving all the above inforamtion will create significant risk of substantial harm to the relocating parent or to the child, that relocating parent still must file the notice and send a copy to the non-relocating parent, but may leave out the information that would create a significant risk of substantial harm and explain in the notice why the disclosure of information would be harmful.  If the Court finds the disclosure creates a significant risk of substantial harm, the Court can relieve the relocating parent from giving that information.

Objecting to the Move

If the non-relocating parent objects to the move, the non-relocating parent must file a written objection within sixty (60) days of receiving the notice.  If no objection is filed, the relocating parent may relocate the minor child to the new residence.  If an objection is filed, the Court will hold a hearing to grant or deny the motion to relocate and may review and modify the custody, parenting time, and child support orders.

The Court will consider the following:

  1. The distance involved in the proposed change of residence. 
  2. The hardship and expense involved for the non-relocating parent.
  3. The feasibility of preserving the relationship between the non-relocating parent and the child.
  4. Whether there is an established pattern of conduct by the relocating parent either encouraging or discouraging the non-relocating parent's contact with the child.
  5. The reasons provided for the relocation of the child.
  6. The reasons for the non-relocating parent's opposition to the relocation of the child.
  7. Other factors affecting the best interest of the child.

Forms and instructions for the Notice to Relocate are available at the Legal Aid Society office and on our website.