A new law threatens to throw thousands of Alabama custody agreements into disarray and could force parents into court to keep their children nearby.
The Alabama Parent-Child Relationship Protection Act, which goes into effect September first, requires parents to notify each other before relocating.
If the move is more than 60 miles between the custodial parent who plans to relocate and the other parent, or if the move is out of state, the non-custodial parent can file a lawsuit objecting.
The parent who has custody must give notice 45 days before the move. If there is no objection filed within 30 days of the notice, the child can move.
Other attorneys believe the law is unconstitutional, and there's the potential for parents to object out of jealousy or spite.
Under the old law, a custodial parent could move about as they pleased. If a non-custodial parent objected to a child's move, they could file suit to show why the move was detrimental to the child. A majority of the lawsuits were unsuccessful.
There are exceptions to the notice provisions of the act if a parent has been a victim of domestic violence or if the move is required by military order.