Who is permitted to propose a relocation of a child’s residence?

In part one, we examined the distance requirement in the Louisiana Relocation Statutes – i.e. if you were moving with your child, what distance would trigger your obligations under the relocation statutes.  In part 2 of our examination of the Louisiana Relocation Statutes, we will examine who may propose the relocation of a child.

La R.S. 3:55.3 specifically addresses this issue.  It reads:

The following persons are authorized to propose relocation of the principal residence of a child by complying with the notice requirements of this Subpart:

(1)  A person designated in a current court decree as the sole custodian.

(2)  A person designated in a current court decree as a domiciliary parent in a joint custody arrangement.

(3)  A person sharing equal physical custody under a current court decree.

(4)  A person sharing equal parental authority under Chapter 5 of Title 11 VII of Book I of the Louisiana Civil Code.

(5)  A person who is the natural tutor of a child born outside of marriage.

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 more than the distance discussed in Part 1 of this series, then you have obligations under the Louisiana Relocation Statutes.

If you do not have a court order regarding custody of your child, the evaluation becomes a little more complicated.  The reference to Chapter 5 of Title VII of Book I of the Louisiana Civil Code refers to the Chapter entitled: Parent and Child – Of Parental Authority.  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 tutors.  However, in this circumstance, please beware that there are numerous questions and legal analysis which must be asked before an in-depth evaluation can be done – such as, has the child been acknowledged, etc.  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.  In Part 3, we will evaluate what those obligations are.

If you, or someone you know, wishes to relocate with their minor child after a separation, please feel free to contact Stanley-Wallace Law, LLC for a free consultation.