Alabama Relocation – Who Must Give Notice?

A couple of days ago we talked about when to give the notice required by the Alabama Relocation Act – the “Alabama Parent-Child Relationship Protection Act.” Today we’ll think through who must give the notice.

The statute requires either parent who is moving to give notice to the other. Many noncustodial parents (NCPs) mistakenly believe that they are free to move without notifying the custodial parent (CP). Not so. Ala. Code §30-3-164 requires the notice from every person entitled to custody of or visitation with a child.

And divorced parents sometimes mistakenly believe that they must give the notice only if they are moving to another city or state. Not true either. The notice is required even for a move across the street. It is only the right to object and call for a hearing that turns on the distance. The measure of the distance is this: the right to object applies if the move is further away from the other parent and more than 60 miles from the other parent, or if the move results in the child’s moving from the state where the other parent lives to some other state.

In either case, whether from the CP or the NCP, the notice must go to every other person entitled to custody of or visitation with a child. What happens if the NCP is entitled to reasonable and liberal visitation with the child but doesn’t have a specific schedule? That’s still visitation, and logic would indicate the notice is required.

What happens if the NCP hasn’t asked for visitation or for some other reason isn’t entitled to it? The statute, specifically Ala. Code §30-3-163, describes a requirement to “provide notice to every other person entitled to custody of or visitation with a child of a proposed change of the child’s principal residence.” So if there is no other person entitled to custody of or visitation with the child, there is no one to receive the notice and hence (one would think) no notice requirement.

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