What Happens When Divorced Parents Relocate?

Shared parenting is difficult enough, but when one parent chooses to relocate to another part of the country, it becomes increasingly complex and frustrating. The logistics of sharing a child when you live far apart can make what is likely an already tense situation even worse. The good news is that unless your Custody and Parent Time order include pre-arranged regulations that apply for relocation, you can at least have your opinion heard on the matter, and our Salt Lake City child custody attorney can help.

Notice of Relocation

Utah law has a process that must be followed when there is no previous order regarding parent relocation. The first step that either moving parent has to take before moving 150 miles away or farther from the other parent is to file a Notice of Relocation. This must be filed at least 60 days prior to the move and must be sent to the other parent. This Notice of Relocation will let the other parent know about the move and propose details about how parenting time will work post-move as well as a promise from the moving parent that they will not interfere with the parenting time of the other parent. This notice can also include a proposed schedule, a proposal on how to divide expenses for transportation for shared parenting or a proposal on reimbursement for transportation costs for parenting time.

Motion for Orders Regarding Relocation

If the other parent doesn’t agree with the terms of the Notice for Relocation, then he/she can ask the court to review the notice. To do this, a Motion for Orders Regarding Relocation must be filed with the court. Some sticking points that parents sometimes disagree with in regards to the Notice for Relocation include:

  • The move itself
  • The proposed schedule for parent time
  • The proposed division of costs related to transportation for parent time
  • The proposed reimbursement for transportation

When a parent files a Motion for Orders Regarding Relocation, it must be served on the other parent. If the parent opposes the move, he/she must file a Memorandum Opposing Motion and appear in court to present reasons why the move is not a good idea.

A hearing will be scheduled for the motion, and it will be presided over by a judge or commissioner, whose job it will determine if the move is in the best interest of the child(ren), who will be awarded parent time, when parent time will be awarded, and who will pay for associated transportation costs. There may be a change in child custody and/or child support as a result of this type of hearing.

It is important to note that when a parent relocates to another state, the issues that arise can be complicated by the fact that the state of Utah may not have jurisdiction over the matter. For this reason, it is a wise move to check with our Salt Lake City child custody attorney at once as soon as you learn of the move (or if you’re the moving parent, prior to the move) so that you can determine where jurisdiction lies and where paperwork must be filed. Contact our compassionate and knowledgeable legal team now to set up your consultation.

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