What happens after you give notice? 

So, you want to move and you want your child to come with you.  You have given notice to the other parent as described in the last blog post – now what?  If you and the other parent have equal custody of the child, according to La. R.S. 9:355.4(B), you must either obtain a court order that you can move, after having a contradictory hearing, or you must have “express written consent” of the other parent.  However, if you and the other parent do not have equal custody of the child (for example, you have joint custody and are the domiciliary parent) then the other parent must object, in writing, sent to your address provided in the notice, via certified mail or commercial carrier (See La. R.S. 9:355.7).  If no objection is received, then the party requesting to relocate with the child, may relocate.  If an objection is received in accordance with La. R.S. 9:355.7, then the person requesting the relocation must file a motion to relocate the child’s residence within thirty days of receiving the objection. (See La. R.S. 9:355.9).  In order to get approval to relocate the child, over the objection of the other parent, then the court must hold a contradictory hearing and must find that the proposed relocation is made in good faith and is in the best interest of the child.  (See. La. R.S. 9:355.9 and La. R.S. 9:355.10).

What happens if you don’t give notice and move anyway? 

What happens if you want to relocate your child’s residence and you just move – in other words, you don’t abide by the requirements set forth in the Louisiana Relocation statutes?  According to La. R.S. 9:355.6, if you fail to abide by the relocation statutes, the Court may consider that as “… 1) A factor in making its determination regarding the relocation of the child; 2) a basis for ordering the return of the child if the relation has taken place without notice or court authorizations; 3) sufficient cause to order the person proposing relocation to pay reasonable expenses incurred by the person objecting to the relocation.”  There are some serious consequences to not following the relocation statutes, including being forced to move back, paying the expenses of the other party, and a change in your custody arrangement (i.e. less time with your child).

If you are thinking of moving the residence of you and your child, you should always get the opinion of an experienced family law attorney.  Although the past four blog posts have provided you with a basic knowledge of the Louisiana Relocation Statutes and the requirements that you face if you would like to move your child’s residence, Louisiana custody law regarding this issue is much more complicated.  At Stanley-Wallace Law we have experience in handling these types of cases and have had great outcomes, including the approval of a relocation in a hotly contested case after a contradictory hearing.  We are here to help.