Topics Covered in This Guide:
Notice of Intent to Relocate: An Overview
About Notice of Intent to Relocate
Before relocation, the person who wants to move the child may need to give formal notice. The "Notice of Intent to Relocate" tells the child's other parent, or a person with custody rights under a court order, of the proposed move.
La. R.S. 9:355.5 outlines the required form of notice. The notice must be sent in the manner described by the law to be valid. The specific requirements described by La. R.S. 9:355.5 are explained in this article on "How to Prepare and Send a Notice of Intent to Relocate".
This formal notice may not be necessary for short-distance moves. If there is an agreement between all persons awarded custody by a court order, no notice is necessary. Last, there is an exception if certain protective orders are in place.
When Notice of Intent to Relocate is Required
All Moves Outside of the State of Louisiana
Notice of relocation is always required when there is intent to establish the primary home of a child at any location outside the state of Louisiana. This notice is required regardless of whether there is a court order of custody.
Moves Within Louisiana
Notice of relocation is required when there is an intent to establish the primary home of a child at any location inside the state of Louisiana that is at a distance of more than seventy-five (75) miles from:
Note: If the distance to the proposed relocation address is close to the seventy-five mile threshold, it may be safer to send the notice of relocation. Some courts have measured 75 driving miles, based on established roadways between homes. Other courts may measure the 75 miles "as the crow flies," or in a straight line. When in doubt, it is safest to send a notice of relocation.
When Notice of Intent to Relocate is Not Required
- There is an express written agreement between the parents or persons with custody rights under a current court order.
- The proposed relocation location is both:
- There is a qualifying protective order in effect.
If you are unsure whether your case meets one of the exceptions above, you should talk to a lawyer. It is appropriate to use the legal process for relocation of a minor child, to be safe.
What Must Be Included in a Notice of Intent to Relocate
The following information shall be included with the notice of intended relocation of the child:
(1) The current mailing address of the person proposing relocation.
(2) The intended new residence, including the specific physical address, if known.
(3) The intended new mailing address, if not the same.
(4) The home and cellular telephone numbers of the person proposing relocation, if known.
(5) The date of the proposed relocation.
(6) A brief statement of the specific reasons for the proposed relocation of a child.
(7) A proposal for a revised schedule of physical custody or visitation with the child.
(8) A statement that the person entitled to object shall make any objection to the proposed relocation in writing by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, within thirty days of receipt of the notice and should seek legal advice immediately.
A person required to give notice of a proposed relocation shall have a continuing duty to provide the information required as that information becomes known.
How to Send Notice of Intent to Relocate
The law requires mailing of proposed relocation address. The notice of intent to relocate must be sent to the last known address of the person entitled to receive the notice.
A person proposing relocation can send the notice by registered or certified U.S. mail, return receipt requested. Registered or certified mail requires a special label that can be obtained from the U.S. Postal Service. When filling out the label, the sender must mark a box for "return receipt requested." Be sure to include a valid address for the return receipt.
The law defines a "commercial courier" as "any foreign or domestic business entity having as its primary purpose the delivery of letters and parcels of any type, and which:
(1) Acquires a signed receipt from the addressee, or the addressee's agent, of the letter or parcel upon completion of delivery.
(2) Has no direct or indirect interest in the outcome of the matter to which the letter or parcel concerns."
Common commercial couriers include FedEx and UPS. It is important that the sender use the method of sending that requires a signed receipt from the person to whom the package is addressed.
When to Mail the Notice of Intent to Relocate
The notice must be mailed at least 60 days before the date of the proposed relocation.
- There is an exception to the 60-day notice if:
- (1) The person proposing relocation does not know and can not reasonably have known the information required to be included in the notice in time to provide that information at least 60 days in advance, and
- (2) It is not reasonably possible to extend the time for relocation. In that case, the notice must be sent no later than 10 days after the person mailing notice knows that information.