Ruling on Alabama Relocation Statute

We have our first appellate case now interpreting the Alabama Parent Child Relationship Protection Act, and it permits the relocation to occur. In Clements v. Clements, Case No. 2030768 (Ala. Civ. App. February 11, 2005), the Appeals Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court in Autauga County. The trial court’s opinion hadn’t expressly said so, but the Appeals Court deemed the trial court to have found that the relocating mother had succeeded in overcoming the presumption against relocation. This therefore shifted the burden to the non-relocating father, who sought a transfer of custody from the mother to himself.

The court ruled that any change of custody continued to be governed by the McLendon standard and that it would not disturb the finding of the lower court on ore tenus evidence that the father had not met his burden.

The father and the mother both presented evidence regarding their relationship with the child and their fitness as parents. It is clear that both parties love the child and want the trial court to act in the child’s best interest. There was ample evidence presented to the trial court from which it could have found that it was in the child’s best interest to move with the mother to New York. During the time that the child has been in the mother’s custody, the mother has seen to the child’s medical needs and educational needs. There is little evidence that the mother’s devotion to the child’s needs will change after moving to New York. Also, the mother has participated in counseling, along with Dr. Teitel (the mother’s new husband) and the child, to encourage a smooth transition for the child in New York.

The evidence supports the trial court’s determination that the child’s best interest and welfare will not be materially promoted by transferring custody of the child to the father. Ex parte McLendon, supra. There is no doubt that the mother’s move to New York represents a significant transition in the child’s life. However, the benefits the child will receive by moving to New York with the mother, the mother’s role as the child’s primary caregiver, and the mother and Dr. Teitel’s willingness to support a continuing relationship between the father and the child support the trial court’s judgment allowing the mother to move with the child to New York and denying the father’s petition to modify. Therefore, we cannot say that the trial court erred in entering its judgment denying the father’s petition to modify custody.

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196 thoughts on “Ruling on Alabama Relocation Statute”

  1. Thank you again for your reply. I have an appointment with my attorney next Monday. I understand what you state in your above reply but how would the law apply in the following situation? We were not married at the time of his birth but I was listed on the child’s birth certificate as the Father. She and her children then moved into my home after she came home from the hospital. We were married in my home a few months later. I assumed I was the child’s Father and have always thought so. Like I said before, nothing at this point could change my feelings towards my son one way or another. Do the laws view a situation any differently because we were not married at the time of his birth? By the way, she also has three other children from a prior marriage. I have consulted with their Father regarding the situation and he is adamantly opposed to his children moving to Wisconsin as well. I would think it would help both of our cases given the situation with two different Fathers opposing the move. My biggest concern in suing for custody of my son would be the potential issue and the possibilty of losing my son altogether. Thank you again sir for your reply.

  2. shortly after the alabama law was passed i found out my husband was cheating on me we had been married for 8 years i have been totally faithful he cheated on me with at least 6 different women we live in mobile all of my family and most of his live in jasper al way past the miles the law states i can live. my childs father loves him of that i have no doubt of but i read all the bed time stories take him to shcool and kiss all his boo boo,s my husband loves his son but my world is the one that revolves around him. my lawyer said i would get custody not to worry but when i told him i had to move to jasper to enlist the help of my family . he shot me down. all of a sudden the scales tipped. i was so scared that i forgave my husband for all of his running around. i promised to be a better wife and do whatever it takes to make him happy. im still doing i 2 years later. although i do still love my husband i feel a prisoner to this law. i understand it was designed to protect father’s rights, but it has taken away alot more.is there any chance this law might change?

  3. My ex and I have the “no unrelated overnight guest of opposite sex present”. Well my ex has found a loop hole to this – he now stays over at his girlfriends house (with kids) until all hours of the night. Can he do this? Can I enforce this due to the fact that my youngest is 7 and no way can stay up until 2 AM so she is sleeping over there? thanks!

  4. If you choose to address it, you would characterize it as Dad’s determination to disrupt the children’s sleeping patterns for his own gratification and ask the court to intervene to stop it. I honestly don’t know how your judge would rule. I can say that if I were the judge and wanted to stop parents from having their unmarried lovers sleep in the same residence with the children, I would react negatively to this “too cute by half” attempt to circumvent my order.

  5. I divorced in May of ’06 in Alaska,granted primary custody of my two children, and allowed to move to Alabama. We have lived in Alabama since Aug ’06 with my current husband who is in the military. My ex relocated to NC in August where he still resides. My current husband is retiring and has a job offer in NM. I am not sure when we will move but I’m concerned my ex-husband will try to stop the move since it will put the children further away from him. He does not pay child support since I have not been able to get a support order in place through the state of Alabama. He sees the children when he likes which is usually three day weekends, scheduled visitation…Christmas, and both children’s birthdays. He does not work and is currently living off his parents. I have provided a safe, loving home for my children and need to relocate to continue to have income to support my children. How likely will the judgement be in my favor to allow me to move?

  6. Hard to say. You’re clearly covered by the statute and must give the notice. If I were in your shoes, I would argue that Dad’s relationship with the children is so minor (no support, only occasional contact) that the financial advantages of the move overcome the presumption.

  7. Mine is similar to the ““Neither party will have guests of the opposite sex not related by blood or marriage (and with whom they are romantically involved) to spend the night in the same residence where the Children are residing or visiting.”
    But it is not in the divorce papers. My oldest son wanted to move to TN with his dad, I agreed that this might be in his best interest. He has primary custody of our oldest son, I have custody of our youngest son. My ex is married and she has two kids. She had admitted to me that they smoke pot, but only when the kids are asleep and outside. Personally I have no problem with this. The thing now is that they bring up this ‘clause’ that in the custody agreement says that it is marked as an exhibit. Here is the catch; I have been with the same man for 8 years, we have twin daughters together, and we file taxes together. We call each other husband and wife and act like it. We just don’t have that little paper saying we are married. They won’t let my son come over or stay the night with me, at my parents. This has got me mad, but I don’t know what to do. He never had much to do with his kids until he got remarried, plus he still doesn’t have much, if anything to do with our youngest son. Any advise on how I can handle this with my oldest son. I have not seen him for maybe an hour in over a month. Thanks.

  8. Lee, A Moving Out of State Question –

    After many, many months of delay, my divorce was final May 7th, 2007. After re-evaluating mine and my family’s circumstances, I have given my x the 45-day notice, and believe I have enough compelling reasons for moving home to Indiana, where absolutely all of mine and x’s relatives are. My dad and disabled mother have little support system there, and I have NO support system here. We need each other. Small-town new school (instead of large rundown urban school), with school bus service to grandma’s house after school (not avail here), and it’s near all my prior work history and contacts. Disabled sister and aging grandparents who need assistance, too.

    X says he will object and try to get custody, too. Says he will not pay for a previously agreed to housing allowance (unfortunately not in decree), instead of the free-rent arrangement (in decree) we have now, where he pays the mortgage. It was a mutual idea to provide housing (along w/child support and alimony) to allow me to work part-time from home, until the kids are old enough to stay by themselves, so they wouldn’t be raised in daycare. This means I will have to get at least a part-time job to pay for rent when I move. However, I am planning to go back to a full-time career that I gave up 11 years ago.

    So, will he have grounds to get custody because I don’t yet have that job, and don’t have a house picked out yet? How can I get a job up there, when I don’t yet have permission to move? Am I really in this “catch 22”?

    My x has “moved on” to a new family (girlfriend w/2 kids), and is talking about moving with her into a house. He says they have no plans to ever get married. He’s a sex addict and spent thousands at strip clubs instead of on the kids and me (reason I divorced him). I looked at your Real World Custody factors, and I believe I would prevail on nearly all of them. What should I do right now, in case he actually does object?

  9. I am going through the same thing right now with trying to move out of state. My ex has made this process has hard as possible. I have offered to try and maitain the same amout of visitation because he doesn’t even get the standard visitation now. And over the past few years haven’t exercised the time he has had.He has DV on his record along with Wreckless dangerment while our child was in the car. I am going on my third court date. Can anyone tell me how long the process most time takes? Is there any thing I can do to make it move faster? Is there anything I can do to ensure that I get to move?

  10. My brother has a 9 month old with a woman with cerebal palsy.He wants to see his daughter as much as possible and pays child support weekly even though there is and has never had a court order to do so.He wants joint custody he doesn’t want to take away from the mother but she is very mean and doesn’t let him see her.She tried to get a PFA on him but when they went to court it was proven that she was lying and it was a scheme so they dismissed it.He does not mention her disability but it is bothering him. She has dropped the baby twice off the bed, she can not bathe her or wash her face because her hands are twisted.She can not dress her right. She is 9 months old and the mother can not carry her because she can’t keep her balance. Yesterday, she tried to pick her up and when she sat her down she almost fell on her.He is concerned for the safety of the baby.how can he get more time with his daughter without sounding like a jerk?He doesn’t want to take the baby from her, just spend more time with her.She won’t let him have her for holidays, his birthday or nothing. She makes him drive the full 2 hours each way to see her when she lets him and then it’s only for a little while.We dont’ know what to do.Thank you.

  11. LEE,
    I AM IN A BIG DISPUTE OF CUSTODY SINCE MARCH OF 2006, IT TOOK TIL APRIL 2ND TO GET UNSUPERVISED VISITS, WHEN I GOT VISITS , THE DAD ,WHO HAS TEMPORARY CUSTODY, WOULD IGNORE PHONE CALLS OR SOME CONTACT AT TIMES WHEN I NEEDED TO ARRANGE FOR THEM TO GO BACK HOME.. AS ORDERED..
    WELL THE KIDS HAS BEEN IN MY CUSTODY SINCE APRIL 2ND, UNTIL NOW..MY EX HUSBAND TRIED TO SET ME UP,SEE MY EX BOYFRIEND HAS A NO CONTACT ORDER TO BE AROUND MY KIDS. NOT ME. HE DID COME TO MY RESIDENCE , WHILE THE KIDS WERE WITH THEIR DAD ON A VISIT. THE PURPOSE OF THAT WAS TO PAY ME OFF FOR THE TRUCK THAT HE WAS DRIVING, AND I REPOSSED.. THE KIDS WAS NOT HERE AT THE TIME…
    MY EX CALLED THAT GUARDIAN AD LITEM, AND THE POLICE TO MY HOUSE.. I GUESS HE HAS BEEN STALKING ME , AND QUESTIONING THE CHILDREN ABOUT THE CASE.WHICH IS ORDERED NOT TO DO…ITS SAID NOT TO TALK TO THE KIDS ABOUT THE CASE.. WELL THE FATHER IS QUESTIONING THE KIDS AND GETTING AWAY WITH IT… BUT ANYWAY., I HAVE SEEN THAT MY KIDS. GET TO THE DR’S ,DENTIST’S,ETC… I ALSO PAY ALL THE EXPENSES SINCE THEY HAVE BEEN BACK IN MY HOME.

    NOW THE GAURDIAN AD LITEM SAID ,SHE WAS SUSPENDING MY VISIT’S BECAUSE WHEN THEY GOT TO MY HOUSE. MY EX CAME TO MY HOUSE TO PAY ME FOR THE EXPENSE OF THE TRUCK..THE POLICE COULD NOT ARREST ANYONE , BECAUSE HE WAS NOT IN THE HOUSE WITH THE KIDS..NOW THE GUARDIAN AD LITEM IS TRING TO PUT ME IN CONTEMPT.
    ALSO,. THE FATHER IS COACHING MY KIDS TO SAY THINGS , THAT IS NOT TRUE, LIKE NOW SAY THEY HAVE BEEN AROUND HIM.ETC.. MOM DID THIS AND THAT..EVEN TOLD OUR FAMILY COUNSELOR’S THIS…WHAT CAN I DO TO PROVE MY INNOCENSE…? I HAVE A RECIEPT OF THE DAY HE PAID FOR THE TRUCK> ITS THE SAME DAY THEY STARTED ALLEGATIONS….
    PLEASE HELP

  12. Hi. My situation is different in that I actually like a dummy gave my x the primary and hes the dad.. We were in the military and he was wanting to fight and figured he would be coming up for overseas duty and decided I would end up with my daughter in the end for duty call. Almost immediately He got out 2 years early with a hardship discharge, and went back to Alabama, I have been trying to come up with the means of getting our daughter back since the beginning. He never really showed much interest in our daughter so I thought I would end up in custody anyways. Because of the move back to Birmingham his mom has really been in control this whole time and they have really shared everything since he was under her roof leaving me out of the loop completely. I now have another daughter she is 3 months, He has been in Florida since May and given me a bogus 45 day notice backdated to April and certified mailed it to me June 8. I feel that even though the custodial parent he has not really been apart of my childs life and has left it up to his mother all these years knowing that I want my daughter and keeping that away from me. This has been the hardest lesson of my life.. In Florida he does have a girlfriend, My daughter does not know this woman that he has met over the internet that he is now living with. However, she is very close to her new sister and my significant other and I have maintained a very substantial relationship through all of this, She would also be seperated from a large amount of family on three sides…I do have an attorney, but wondered if you could give me any secondary advice…

  13. Help. My daughter has a job promotion and needs to move about 125 miles away from the child’s father. He has filed a petition for custody and objection to the relocation. They have joint custody but she is the child’s primary physical custodian, i.e., child sleeps at her house every night. She has been generous with the father who only pays day care costs, not child support. It doesn’t seem fair that he can hold her hostage in that small town with no career opportunities where she can barely support them on what she can earn there. She had a job but now cannot take it until this is resolved,and she will not leave without the child.

    I understand the intent of the law is that the custodial parent cannot relocate without allowing contact, and that the child’s best interests are important. If she has to stay there, I believe he should step up to the plate with more $$$ for preventing her from advancing. What can she do?

  14. I have a question. I have been divorced 2x, and my x is the PCP. I want to move in with someone, but my divorce decree states no overnight guests. I really dont want to marry this person just so I wont have to stay somewhere else when my kids visit. If we are “living” in the same home, why would that be considered overnight guest?

  15. I’ll let you take it on if you want to; sounds to me like a great way to alienate your judge and get yourself in a good bit of trouble. Unless i misunderstand your facts, what you want to do (have the children spending the night with a sexually active couple living together out of wedlock) is exactly what most judges would want to prevent.

  16. if a husband is abusive and the wife’s family (and all contacts, really) are in another bordering state, can she take the kids and stay with her parents pending the filing? how long could she stay there without violating this statute?

  17. Job One is to make sure you and the children are safe. So do whatever is necessary to ensure your safety. Talk to your lawyer about filing for a Protection form Abuse order. Once that’s granted, you can ask the court to sanction your move if necessary.

  18. We have been going through H*LL with my husbands ex!For 3 years,we have gone to court,we finally got full costody,but the mother pops in and out when she feels like it,she is on drugs and when we get our daughter back she is COVERED in brusies.DHR has done nothing to stop it! My husband is about to be permoted and transfered. How can she be allowed to stop us from moving?Is there not anything we can do?It is deffintly in the childs best intrest to be as far away from the biological mother as poss.

  19. I suppose Dad could argue that the bruises are the result of domestic violence, which gives him the right to move without Mom’s approval. Barring that, I think he would need to be prepared to overcome the presumption.

  20. Hi,
    My divorce was final May 25, 2004. I remarried December 13, 2005. My husband,now, was and has been in my children’s lives on a dailey basis, even while serving in Iraq. When we started dating in August of 2004 my husband was trying to go back active duty in the Army, my ex husband knew this. October of 2004 my husband was signed up to the reserves and had to wait a year to do an “in service change” to active duty. On December 20, 2005 my husband was called up to active duty and signed his 4 year contract, and since signed to finish his career out in the army. On Jan. 17, 2006 he was stationed at Fort Drum NY. By word of advice by a judge in Tuscaloosa county, I was informed to give a 30 day notice of our move to NY because it was a military move. I was denied the move unless I wanted to give up custody of our two boys. There was no explination of why the move was denied but the guardian ad litem had informed me that it was due to my husband being deployed to Iraq and the notice was not sufficiant because I was not the one stationed else where. My husband has since come home from Iraq, with no signs of PTSD, and a bill of good health. During the deployment I remained in Alabama just a few blocks away from my parents. Who are now required to move their home by summer of 2008. I am originially from Indiana, but have lived half of my life in Al, and my parents are looking to move out of Tuscaloosa county and possibly out of the state. The only family I have in Alabama is my parents and 1 sibling, the other 9 siblings, grandparent, aunts, uncles etc.. live in Indiana. My husband’s family lives in Chicago with the exception of his mother and step father, and his two children who we plan on getting custody of if and when I can move to NY. My 2 boys also have an older half sister that I have sole custody of and the boys are very close to and need, (my boys exact words) My ex husband and his family reside here in Alabama. In March of 2006, My ex husband had remarried only for the purpose of not being in contempt of court for living with the opposite sex while having visitation with my children. He was also court ordered to maintain medical insurance and pay 50/50 of all medical dental psychological doctor bills that incurr that medical insurance will not cover. My son was born with 5 major heart defects and has had several open heart surgeries and staph infection surgeries, but has not had a proccedure or any complications in three years. His cardiologist has refferred my son to a doctor in NY, and agree’s the move would not harm my son’s health and would actually put him closer to his surgeon in Boston Mass. My ex is also court ordered to pay child support. In July of 2006 the judge reiterrated that my exhusband was to have insurance on the boys, because I have kept medicaid or insurance on them myself. As of to this date I have not recieved any thing concerning insurance on the boys and my ex husband is 1500$ behind on child support and pays child support sperattically. The army considers my children my husband’s dependent and must keep them on his insurance and all benifits that an army dependant may recieve. I was a stay at home mother for most of my marriage to my ex husband and since I have had to go back to work to maintain two house holds here and in NY. If I were to move to NY with my husband I would not have to work to provide for my children. I would be able to be a stay at home mother once again, which is better for the children. My children’s way of life would be much better and would not want or need for anything. We have a home on post with more than adequate housing free of rent and all main utilities are paid for through the army.

    I have since redone a second 45 day notice, with a new address, phone number, school information, reasoning for the move would be my husband returned home from Iraq and per orders of the army is stationed at Fort Drum NY. He can not PCS for approximately 36 months, (change duty stations) My husband has been denied a compassionate relocation. I also sent a purposal for modify of visitation, giving my ex husband more time with my boys than he recieves now. He of course denied the move and asked for full custody of my children. His reasoning is that all of the children’s family and extended family lives here in Alabama, which is not true. 90% of my immediate family lives in Indiana, and my husbands family lives in Chicago and Missouri. At Fort Drum, we have a close set of friends who are family, they are our military family. These men served over seas with my husband and their wives and I stayed in contact with each other including visits to Fort Drum, and they are our “military” family. We do not recieve any military benifits living here in Tuscaloosa county with the exception of a few 10% discounts at novelty stores.

    While I was on vacation to Fort Drum, to welcome home my husband and my best friend’s husband from Iraq, my ex husband got an order signed by a different judge than what we had and have stating that neither party can take the boys out of state. I understand why he did that, for the fear i would not return with the children. The court summons I recieved also stated something about Alabama Accountability Liabilty Act. What is that and what are my chances of my family rejoining my husband in NY.? My attorney says that we are going to have to appeal the entire thing, and if so how long does the appeal process take? We have went 17 months with out being able to be with my husband due to the war in Iraq, we don’t want to miss any more time due to a war in Alabama.

  21. That is the act that we are following…
    The summon’s I recieved from my ex husband’s attorney stated that If I would perssue any more of this matter I would be held with the Alabama Accountability Liability Act. I was denied July of 2006 to move. But I have different reasonings for the move and can prove that the move will not harm my son’s health. I have a letter stating such from his pediatric cardiologist. etc…. I was also told that there was some sort of a federal law that states that individual states can not force a federal employee’s family to stay in that state or relinquish custody to be able to move. I have offered my ex husband 12 more days a year on the out of state visitation and offered to supply all travel expenses to and from…and many more “extra’s”. I also do not understand the harrassment part of the act. On the relocating parent yes I understand but if my ex husband denies the move any where in the state or out of state then does this by law mean he is doing this to be vendictive?

  22. Ok, So what are my chances on being able to move with my kids. I know if I really wanna move that bad I can give up custody (which there is no way in H**l I would do that) and move. But I already have odds against me because of the first time I was denied. The second time I have complied to all rules and laws.

  23. I live in ALabama now and my job is transferring me to PA. My divorce should be final soon. I have discussed the intent to move with my husband and he is telling me he will fight me until the end. This transfer will benefit my children greatly. The school system there has more to offer than Alabama can. Plus not to mention the activities there for the children. And as far as my career it will advance me in the company. My husbabd does not have any set time for visitation. Basically it is when it is convenient for him. I am not saying he is a bad father. Just struggling right now. If I can prove the transer will benefit the children and that he can have all the visitation he wants can the courts prevent me from moving?

  24. In order to move over Dad’s objections, in the absence of domestic violence, you will need to convince the judge that the benefits to the children are so significant that they overcome the required presumption that the move is not in their interests. It’s a tall order. Maybe you can meet it, but it will be difficult.

  25. Im looking for info on divorce in the state of Alabama. I was living and married in the state of Louisiana. My husband and I have one daughter together. We have only been married for 5 years. The state says we have to wait a year before getting a divorce. But now I have been living in Alabama now for 6 months. What im trying to figure out is how long do I have to wait To file a divorce here? We both want the divorce as soon as possible because we both are with other people. I really dont want anything from our marrage but my daughter living with me and visiting with her father.He doenst have anything I want because we have lived with his mother the entire time of our marrage exept the few months I lived here when our baby was born 2 years ago. Thanks and hope to get info back on this issue.

  26. Before filing in Alabama, either the defendant needs to be a resident of the state, or the plaintiff needs to have resided in the state for at least six months.

  27. Thanks alot, Ive been told plenty of different thing by family members.Im surprised on how quick you responded! I din’t expect to hear back so soon.

  28. i’ve been divorced for over four years. i followed the “law” and gave my ex my intent to relocate in writing along with all of the required information. in the “law” it states that the non-custodial parent has 30 DAYS to file anything against the relocation or “THE MOVE WILL BE GRANTED.” what a joke.

    i originally filed for child support modification in mid 2006 and the first court date was set for aug 31, 2006. after i filed for the modification, i became engaged to a man that lives in mississippi (3 1/4 hours away). i sent a certified letter to my ex notifying him of my intent to relocate. he didn’t file ANYTHING until he showed up for the child support modification hearing, where he filed for custody of the kids, trying to keep them from being able to leave the state of alabama. from the day my ex received the letter to the date he filed for custody was 41 DAYS, which is 11 DAYS TOO LATE. however, after AT LEAST four hearings (i’ve lost count) and 17 months later – the judge ruled AGAINST ME. my ex didn’t get custody of our daughter, however, the judge ruled that she and i could not relocate. even after my ex was offered OVER 30 MORE DAYS of visitation and i was willing to drive to either meet him half way or SOMETHING – my ex wouldn’t settle and the judge didn’t follow the “law”.

    and then, 17 months later, i find out that the only way to appeal it is to come up with $5800 for a different att’y who does appeals…………what about those of us who have been done WRONG by the legal system and can’t afford to pay for an appeal?

    since when do the words “…WITHIN 30 DAYS OR THE MOVE WILL BE GRANTED.” mean something else? how can one “interpret” those words differently?

    and from what the G.A.L. said, Alabama is the only state that has this act. and appearently a judge in tuscaloosa county can’t read the “law” word for word –

  29. I would if I could afford it. I have no doubt that we’d win the appeal. I wish there was a way to appeal without having to come up with $5800 – in two weeks! I would REALLY like to see the law kicked to the curb. It’s a violation of my civil rights – very unconstitutional. Any suggestions? I fear that this is going to be just another case of poor “JUDGE”ment.

  30. Hi, I am recently married to a man who is in the Army. He has orders to relocate to a duty station out of state, about a 9 hour drive. I have written the letter as required by the statute. It was mailed 10 days ago, and I have not gotten the notice that the certified letter has been picked up. Today, I got served with an Ex Parte order preventing the move.( I had spoke to my daughters father, to try to work a plan out). My daughter is 10 years old. We have joint custody, with me being the custodial parent. There are certain issues in our divorce agreement that he has not carried out, but he has maintained the visitation schedule. I have another daughter,by my first husband, who is 17 and severely developmentally delayed. He even mentions her in the petition to the court, and from what I understand, is going to claim that I am abandoning her.(My oldest daughters dad and myself have worked out an agreement about custody and visitation, she will live with him and finish school here, as she can go to school until she is 21). He claims alcohol abuse, and just that I am an unfit parent. I offered a visitation schedule as follows: one weekend a month I will bring her back here for visitation, her summer break, Christmas break, spring break, and any long weekends- all at my expense. Any advice on my chances of winning this case?

  31. theirmama – all i can say is “good luck!” what county do you live in? i offered my ex the same revised visitation, in fact more – and i was only wanting to move 3 hours away. i was even allowing my ex to have residential custody of my 17 (18 yr old tomorrow….) so that he could finish school here. my ex pays NO child support, well, at least not YET – he will when my oldest turns 19!!!!! there’s GOT to be some way to start the ball rolling with the government to get this act booted! no other state is this bass ackward!

  32. Beware in Tuscaloosa county…Would love to be able to discuss how things are going for you. My judge here in Tuscaloosa keeps saying that his hands are tied even if I do prove move is better for kids. Send me an email or something at Redfireinbed@yahoo.com.
    Red

  33. My husband is military stationed in N.E. alabama and i was living in Houston County alabama when we married. i did my letter to the father and waited 30 days. the father tried to block the move by going to court. didnt work though the judge told him ” what do you want me to do about it” lol. although i was ordered to pay the fatehr .41 per mile if i wanted to meet have way to exchange the child for visitation. o by the way the .41 per mile is more than my child receives in child support. there was a while before that that i was running back and forth every other weekend so my child could see his father. i did that for almost a year. now the father has had no visitation since 12/25/06 and has had no contact since 4/07. i have made it very easy for the father to maintain visitation and he doesnt. i just make me think that everything was done out of spite and that he truely never had the best intrest of our child at heart. i do know that the father moved in Dec 06 but he didnt leave a forwarding address and i do not have a working phone number for him.

    Good luck!

  34. I am married with 3 children. My husband is the father of my youngest. The other 2 have different dads. My oldest who is 8; her father has “shared parenting” and local visitation. I am ordered to meet him half-way which is an hour for each of us. He gets her like he is supposed to but is $2,000 behind in child support. Nothing has been paid in 4 months now. My husband joined the Army and we are supposed to be moving this month out of state from Florida to Texas. Now my daughter’s father had his lawyer serve me with papers protesting the move. My attorney summited a “intent to relocate” to his attorney. We are supposed to be moving next week! My second’s child’s dad sees her too but is extremely behind in child support. He doesn’t have legal visitation though. What are my chances of the courts allowing me to move with my daughter? We won’t have money for transportation and neither does her father but he is behind on his child support! Will him being $2,000 behind help my case?

  35. I don’t know. My guess is that, looking at the best interest of the child, most judges would allow Dad to stop you from moving. Fortunately for you, however, I’m not the judge, so anything I have to say is simply the idle musings of a lawyer-farmer.

  36. I currently reside in AL and hope to move 330 miles away to another state – a 5 hour drive. I have expressed this desire to my ex who says he will contest. I believe he may or may not when it comes down to it. My point is, our custody agreement won’t have to change too drastically during the school year and I will be willing to share more during the holidays and especially in the summer. And I will certainly be fair in concessions with the travelling – if he has to do any. Since our separation and divorce I have done everything possible to make sure that the boys maintain a good and positive relationship with their dad. This will never change. My goal is for he and I to agree to the move and subsequent custody changes in order to keep our relationship as friendly as possible. However, should we not be able to reach an agreement I want to be prepared properly from the beginning. Should I hire and attorney to send the relocation letter or wait until he contests? Will he have to retain an attorney to contest? I really appreciate your opinion and help.

  37. Should I hire and attorney to send the relocation letter or wait until he contests? If you feel comfortable reading the statute and applying it, you can write the letter yourself.

    Will he have to retain an attorney to contest? No, but I think he would be making a mistake to do so.

  38. SINCE YOUR EX HAS ALREADY EXPRESSED AN INTEREST IN CONTESTING THE MOVE, YOU SHOULD BE PREPARED TO FOLLOW THE STATUE BY SENDING HIM AN “INTENT TO RELOCATE”. HE WILL HAVE 30 DAYS TO CONTEST. THE LAST THING YOU WANT IS TO BE RIGHT AT YOUR MOVING DATE AND BE SERVED WITH PAPERS CONTESTING YOUR MOVE. SINCE YOUR MOVE DOESN’T SEEM LIKE IT WILL HARM FATHER/CHILD RELATIONSHIP…IT JUST MAY BE GRANTED. YOU WILL HAVE A BETTER CHANCE THOUGH IF YOU HIRE AN ATTORNEY.

  39. What if neither parent followed the divorce decree / relocation statute? In this case the Primary Custodial Parent remarried several years ago and moved to a neighboring state without filing the notice (the ex didn’t object).

    Can the ex object now? Would a Judge basically punish the child by forcing the child to move back to Alabama?

    The divorce was nasty (DV and DHR reports) and visitation (every other weekend – no weekdays – negotiated holidays) has occasionally been difficult. Child support from the ex is garnished, none of the other financial requirements (health insurance, activities, etc) have been met.

  40. Can the ex object now?
    Yes, but if I were the judge I wouldn’t pay much attention to it.

    Would a Judge basically punish the child by forcing the child to move back to Alabama?
    Nah.

  41. Hi Lee, Several months ago I posted a blog about moving to NY because my husband was in the army…Well I proved my case, I did every thing that this relocation law said I had to do as the Custodial Parent, The GAL even stated this law needs to be changed! I won except the judge said he would let me move if it wasn’t for the appealate (not sure if i spelled correcty) courts just made a ruling that NO Custodial Parent can move out of state or the 60 or 70 miles away from NCP. Except for in extreme abuse cases where the ncp was forced to give up their parental rights of the child(ren). I was literally told by the judge here and the Gal that the move would be in the Best intrest of my children and I am stuck here in Tuscaloosa County!!! Because of some Court ruling that has no clue what my case is about or like. My children and husband’s children are all devistated!! I was told to just break down the ex til he gives in on allowing the move. How can we get this law amended? I am for it to a point but when you do what the law states and you still can not move wtf? I have a deadbeat on my hands and he got a pat on his back.

  42. My ex and I have joint custody but our divorce and custody was done in NC. he has primary custody of our three boys. and they have been living in AL a little over 3yrs. he is in the military and is being stationed in Korea for two years. he wants to move our boys over to korea. i have to sign off on the passports but i will not sign them b/c everything he has told me has been wishy washy from the get go. we tried to come to an agreement on the kids but its not working. my oldest son wants to stay in TN with me and does not want to go to korea with my ex. but my two youngest sons want to go with there dad. so we had agreed to let our oldest stay with me and i agreed to let the two youngest go with him. yesterday i recieved a phone call from his lawyer stating now he wants passports for all three children and after i sign for the passports then he will send me an agreement to allow my oldest son to stay with me. but b/c of all the lies and all the wishy washy details of this move i have decided not to sign anything and i want to go to the judge and allow him to make the decision for us so that it is in writing. the lawyer told me b/c AL is a military town that the judge would definately side with my ex and i will lose my rights to my boys. is this true? am i going to lose my kids forever and never be able to see them again if i allow a judge to make a real decision? i dont have the money for a lawyer and was going to drive to AL and represent myself and my son can i do this? please if anyone has any advice please send it to me i really dont want to lose my children again b/c of his lies and decietfulness.

  43. My ex-wife and I divorce became final in Huntsville in March of 08. She moved out in April of 08 to live with a boyfriend in Guntersville, While there, she quit her job, had surgery, moved out of the boyfriends house and is currently out of work and without an apartment.

    Her only source of income at this time is $500 dollars a month SS disability.

    During our uncontested divorce, I was given primary physical custody of my children and I learned today that my company has moved my position down to Fort Lauderdale Florida. The job offer provides significant financial benefits and educational benefits as well. It will also allow me to spend more of my time with the kids, since I will no longer need to work two jobs.

    My 17 year old is starting her senior year in school, and I am willing for her to stay with her mother, granted the mother can establish a residence of her own, and a job that can adequately support them (along with my “support assitance). However, I want the other two children to move with me.

    My ex-wife, on first contact, intends to contest this ruling. She said that she can “prevent” them from moving. I have read the standard, and agree with the argument of uprooting the children, but can she really provide any full legal argument, that the kids would be better off with her than with me?

    Remember, failure to move means a loss of my primary source of income and an inability to support the kids I have been granted primary custody to.

    I have initially contacted my divorce lawyer, and he does not seem to concerned, but I am afraid that my ex can file a temporary stay against the move at which I may lose my job.

    I understand the “presumption” is against the move, yet, does she have a good chance of blocking the move, even though she has no visible means to support her self, let alone the children. And if I am blocked from relocating, can the state force me to become unemployed because of this?

  44. Your question implies that the burden of proof will be on Mom to show why the children should come to live with her. The question you need to be asking is a different one: how will I overcome the presumption? What evidence can I present that the move I want to make would be so much better for the children that the court should allow me to move?

  45. CAN SOME ONE HELP ANSWER THIS QUESTION? MY MOM IS SICK WITH A LUNG DIEASE SHE WILL DIE IF SHE STAYS IN THIS STATE. SHE MUST MOVE SOME WHERE WITH CLEAN AIR. I AM VERY CLOSE TO HER AND SHE LIVES WITH ME.I NEED TO HELP TAKE CARE OF HER.
    DAD PAYS CHILD SUPPORT AND SEES THE CHILDREN. I WANT TO BE WITH HER BUT DAD SAID HE WILL CONTEST.THE CHILDREN WANT TO BE WITH ME AND MY MOTHER AND EVEN WERE LOOKING FORWARD TO THE PLACE THEY WOULD LIVE.DAD NOW HAS CHANGED HIS MIND.
    MY LINE OF WORK IS EASY TO FIND A JOB PLUS THE CITY IS BIGGER THAN THE ONE I LIVE IN. DAD SCHEDULE IS ALL OVER THE PLACE BECAUSE HE IS A PILOT, BUT THE GOOD SIDE IS THE CHILDREN CAN FLY FOR NO CHARGE.
    WHAT ARE THE ODDS I CAN MOVE WITH MY MOTHER AND CAN THE JUDGE GIVE CUSTODY TO THE FATHER IF I DROP THE RELOCATION? COULD THE JUDGE CHANGE CUSTODY OR JUST TELL ME I CAN NOT MOVE?

  46. Assuming you are in Alabama, the challenge you face is the same as that of any parent who wants to relocate and take the children: are my reasons enough to overcome the presumption that this move is not in the children’s best interest? I get it that your health-challenged mother needs to leave, but that doesn’t require that you leave with her. So the question will become one of fact for the judge to decide.

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