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What You Need to Know About the Alabama Parent-Child Relationship Act

By delktomli48103527, Apr 7 2017 09:36PM

Since 2003, every custody determination must include with the order of custody the language of the Alabama Parent-Child Relationship Protection Act, otherwise known as the “relocation act.” The Act was implemented to promote the “general philosophy in this state that children need both parents, even after divorce.” It requires relocating parents to take certain procedural steps prior to any change in their principal address, to ensure that children have access to both parents. The most important thing to remember about the Act is to carefully follow the instructions laid out in the Act.

The Act requires any party, whether they have primary physical custody or visitation rights, to notify the other party prior to moving more than sixty (60) miles or more from the residence of the non-relocating party. Notice must also be given where the move is less than sixty (60) miles from the non-relocating parent, but will result in the child living in another state. This notice must be sent by certified mail forty-five (45) days prior to the intended move. If for some reason, you do not know of the relocation in sufficient time to provide a forty-five (45) day notice, you must give notice by certified mail no later than the 10th day after you know you’re moving.

The notice must contain very specific information, such as: (1) the intended new residence, including the specific 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 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, and; (8) a warning to the non-relocating person that an objection to the relocation must be made within thirty (30) days of receipt of the notice or the relocation will be permitted. There are certain exceptions if you are under Military orders.

Failure to notify the non-relocating party of an intended change in principal residence may be considered in a subsequent case. On the other hand, if the non-relocating party receives the notice required by the Act and doesn’t file an objection within thirty (30) days, the change of principal residence is authorized.

If the non-relocating party does object, a hearing will be held to determine whether the relocation is in the best interests of the child. In cases where the court approves the change in residence, it will require “contact between the child and the non-relocating party and telephone access sufficient to assure that the child has frequent, continuing, and meaningful contact with the non-relocating party.” Issues of transportation cost of the child for visitation will also be decided based upon the facts of the case. The court may determine that a deviation from the child support guidelines should be considered in light of all factors, including the costs of transporting the child for visitation.

It is very important for both parties/parents to abide by this Act. Failing to give notice or to object to the Act could result in you losing custodial time with your child. The courts have discretion when determining whether you violated the Act and tend to frown on situations where you willfully defy the Act. It is best for all parties involved, including your minor children, if you abide by the Act and give notice.

If you have any questions concerning the Alabama Parent-Child Relationship Act, please call our office at (334) 819-4810.

3 comments
Sep 29 2017 09:08PM by Dana Evans

Does the act apply in cases where there is no custody agreement? ( unmarried parents who live together)

If not, does the mere act of petitioning the court for custody then subject the parents to the terms of the act.

Dec 27 2018 04:18PM by Cassie Grubbs

Order established parentity and CS in the state of Alabama 2014. The father has never actknowledge my child. Never tried to get custody of my child. My other child's father is a police officer who done illegal search and seizure took my child and call a person friend from DFCS .. I filed in the state of Georgia because that where we live. Alabama has jursdiction over this but the father from alabama already having an order came to ga after DFCS contacting him know all my information was suppressed about my child and I back in 2011. He came and file in GA court to do a PARENTY custody legitimate and support with them. Meeting my child through them when he had no rights a total of 5 visit in 5 months the judge here gave him full custody and the me 0 no visits calls nothing... GA DFCS took all the information out of the system that pertaining to the Alabama case and sent me a letter stating ALABAMA sent them a letter stating the child went to live with the father they are closing the case.. said alabama is closed case also ...I finally talked to someone in Alabama that case is active... When I tried to submit the paper and have to the court appointed lawyer he never show or spoke on my behalf ... The other lawyer schedule a hearing where I didn't get notified and thats when he took him to Alabama... GA tells me I could not appeal anything and the lawyer would never petition the court after promising serveral time.. how is this possible to never meet a child my baby is 9 now and takes him and I can't fine one person to help please I searched GA and there all telling me I can't do anything about it. When I know I have all documents even though they want pull in the system I have the originals. This man also submitted a court order done 5 months prior from the finial order that was made in Alabama and none of the other things that went alone with it.. we were never married and don't was done in 2011. The judge also change my baby last name at the age of 9

Apr 12 2019 03:05PM by Trinka

My divorce decree does not give this much detail. My certified letter was written in July 2018 and that the school year would start in the previous location. I does not include the second part of one, I did not know the specific address so I gave the city and state. I does not include number 2, 3(we are in cell phone age so that didn't change), 4, 5, 6, 7,or 8. The verbage used that you must notify the party by certified mail of the proposed change of principal residence on or before the 45th day before of the principal change of residence If you do not know and cannot reasonably becaome aware of such information in sufficient time to provide a 45- day notice, you must given notice by certified mail not later than the 10th day after the date you obtain such information. Your failure to notify other party 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 the non-locating party does not commence an action seeking temporary or permanent order to prevent the change of principal residence of the child within 30 days after receipt of the notice of the intent to change the principal residence of a child, the change of principal residence is authorized. It in no way told me I have to tell him his legal right. He sought no action with the courts and it was well before the 45th day. He has had months to object with the courts and has not So timing and placement was included and I let him know I did not know an exact address or date as time of notification. My letter did state a new visitation schedule because it is a little less than 3 hours away. I did not set foot in a place for viewing until March 22nd 2019 and I gave him the address and name of her school on April 1st because that was the first day after Spring Break which put me in the time frame I gave of her starting 6th grade in the prior location but moving within the 6th grade year.

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