Life moves on after an Alabama divorce, sometimes in ways that you can hardly expect when you first file. Perhaps you finally find a house that you can afford on your own, or maybe you have a job offer that would allow you to better provide for yourself and the kids. Sometimes, you need to move somewhere else to secure the best opportunities.
Whether you want to move out of Alabama or just across the state, you may wonder whether you have the right to relocate with your children if you share custody following a divorce. What rules apply to parental relocation in Alabama?
You need permission if the move is significant
If you intend to leave the state or move more than 60 miles away from your current residence, then you will likely need permission to move. Your ex might cooperate with you and agree to support you in the move.
The two of you could then draft an uncontested custody modification requesting changes that reflect your new intended residence and how you will have to adjust parenting time to accommodate the new location. If your ex does not want to approve the move, then you will likely need to go back to court.
What happens in a contested relocation case?
Going to court over a move when you share custody will be a lot like going to court for custody in the first place. Both you and your ex will have an opportunity to provide evidence to the courts, and the judge will make the final decision based on what they think would be best for your children.
Although they will want to preserve the relationship that each parent has with the kids, they may also recognize that opportunities like more access to extended family or a better school system could make a long-distance move beneficial for the children.
Parents who hope to succeed when seeking relocation permission after a divorce will likely have a better outcome if they focus their legal arguments on the children and not on their own wishes. Knowing the rules that apply in shared custody scenarios can help you move on with your life even if you share custody with your ex.