Let’s say that the divorce has been finalized, but now you’re interested in relocating. Can you take your child with you? What does a move mean for custody issues? In a previous post, we discussed the distances you can move under Louisiana law. But now let’s examine who is permitted to propose a relocation of a child’s residence, and how hiring a family law attorney can help you navigate this process.
The question of custody
There are some regulations in Louisiana as to who may propose the relocation of a child after a divorce. A relocation would presumably change the child’s principal residence (the location determined by a court decree, agreed upon by all parties, or where the child spent the most recent 6 months). With that in mind, Louisiana law allows the following people to propose a move:
- A person designated in a current court decree as the sole custodian of the child.
- In a joint custody arrangement, a person designated in a current court decree as a parent with whom the child stays most of the time.
- A person sharing equal physical custody under a current court decree.
- A person sharing equal parental authority under the Louisiana Civil Code.
- If the child was born outside of a marriage, a person who is the child’s legal guardian.
One of these applies to me…
If you have a current court order addressing custody, then the evaluation begins there. Were you awarded sole custody of your child? Do you and your ex have joint custody, but you are designated as the domiciliary parent? Do you and your ex share equal physical custody of your child under a current court order? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, and you intend to move with your child, then you have obligations under the Louisiana Relocation Statutes.
None of these apply to me…
If you do not have a court order regarding custody of your child, the evaluation becomes a little more complicated. Although the evaluation is far more complicated, basically, if you and your spouse are married and share equal parental authority, each of you may propose a relocation of your child. Finally, if your child was born outside of marriage and you have no court order, then the parents of the child could be the natural guardians. However, in this circumstance, please note that there are numerous questions that must be asked before an in-depth legal evaluation can be done.
As always, a thorough evaluation of the circumstances by an experienced attorney is necessary when determining if you have obligations under the Louisiana Relocation Statutes.
Now that you know who is authorized to propose relocation of the child or children, it’s important to learn what your obligations are under the various statutes. You can also learn about the consequences for not abiding by the Louisiana relocation statutes.
Get Legal Help Today
As always, interpretation and application of child custody and other laws requires an experienced attorney. If you, or someone you know, wishes to relocate with their minor child after a separation, contact Stanley-Wallace Law, LLC today.