There are recent changes in the law regarding the parent time relocation statute in Utah, Utah code 30-3-37, which all parents should be aware of. It is not uncommon for 1 parent to move out of state or 150 miles away or more following a divorce or custody order. In such cases it is usually impossible to continue a joint custody arrangement or similar order. When a parent moves out of state it usually means one of the parents is going to become the sole physical custodian if that is not already the case. Often, parents cannot agree on a new parenting plan or arrangement to accommodate relocation. Under the new relocation statute in Utah, the relocating parent must provide written notice to the parent at least 60 days prior to relocation. Parents should pay close attention to following specific language of the new provisions:
“The relocating parent shall provide 60 days advance written notice of the intended relocation to the other parent. The written notice of relocation shall contain statements affirming the following:
(a) the parent-time provisions in Subsection (5) or a schedule approved by both parties will be followed; and
(b) neither parent will interfere with the other’s parental rights pursuant to court ordered parent-time arrangements, or the schedule approved by both parties.”
The Court’s Review and Hearing:
If the parties do not agree, either party may file a motion for a hearing and review of the relocation. While the following statutory provision below are new, many attorneys believe this is actually going to make it more difficult for parents to relocate without losing custody rights. Consider the following:
“The court shall, upon motion of any party or upon the court’s own motion, schedule a hearing with notice to review the notice of relocation and parent-time schedule as provided in Section 30-3-35 and make appropriate orders regarding the parent-time and costs for parent-time transportation.
In a hearing to review the notice of relocation, the court shall, in determining if the relocation of a custodial parent is in the best interest of the child, consider any other factors that the court considers relevant to the determination. If the court determines that relocation is not in the best interest of the child, and the custodial parent relocates, the court may order a change of custody.
If the court finds that the relocation is in the best interest of the child, the court shall determine the parent-time schedule and allocate the transportation costs that will be incurred for the child to visit the noncustodial parent. In making its determination, court shall consider: (a) the reason for the parent’s relocation;
(b) the additional costs or difficulty to both parents in exercising parent-time;
(c) the economic resources of both parents; and
(d) other factors the court considers necessary and relevant.”
The court’s setting out the process for determining a hearing and factors on custody regarding relocation is new to the statute.
Utah Divorce Lawyer | Salt Lake City, Provo, St. George
If you are a divorced parent and are planning on moving out of state, or if you have been served with notice by an ex regarding their relocation, call and speak with a Utah divorce lawyer in our office now. We represent parents all over the state from Salt Lake City and Provo to St. George. We can help give you the best chance of getting the custody arrangement you desire. Call us today at 801.413.1753.