Alabama law requires that I insert these paragraphs into every divorce decree involving children:
Alabama law requires each party in this action who has either custody of or the right of visitation with a child to notify other parties who have custody of or the right of visitation with the child of any change in his or her address or telephone number, or both, and of any change or proposed change of principal residence and telephone number or numbers of a child. This is a continuing duty and remains in effect as to each child subject to the custody or visitation provisions of this decree until such child reaches the age of majority or becomes emancipated and for so long as you are entitled to custody of or visitation with a child covered by this order. If there is to be a change of principal residence by you or by a child subject to the custody or visitation provisions of this order, you must provide the following information to each other person who has custody or visitation rights under this decree as follows:
(1) The intended new residence, including the specific street address, if known. (2) The mailing address, if not the same as the street address. (3) The telephone number or numbers at such residence, if known. (4) If applicable, the name, address, and telephone number of the school to be attended by the child, if known. (5) The date of the intended change of principal residence of a child. (6) A statement of the specific reasons for the proposed change of principal residence of a child, if applicable. (7) A proposal for a revised schedule of custody of or visitation with a child, if any. (8) Unless you are a member of the Armed Forces of the United States of America and are being transferred or relocated pursuant to a non-voluntary order of the government, a warning to the non-relocating person that an objection to the relocation must be made within 30 days of receipt of the notice or the relocation will be permitted.
You must give notice by certified mail of the proposed change of principal residence on or before the 45th day before a proposed change of principal residence. If you do not know and cannot reasonably become aware of such information in sufficient time to provide a 45-day notice, you must give such notice by certified mail not later than the 10th day after the date that you obtain such information. Your failure to notify other parties entitled to notice of your intent to change the principal residence of a child may be taken into account in a modification of the custody of or visitation with the child. If you, as the non-relocating party, do not commence an action seeking a temporary or permanent order to prevent the change of principal residence of a child within 30 days after receipt of notice of the intent to change the principal residence of the child, the change of principal residence is authorized.
Neither the judge nor I have any discretion about this. You and your spouse both may think this is unnecessary, but it’s required and will have to be there for the judge to sign the divorce decree.