A long-distance move after a divorce always brings complications when there are child custody issues. Even a simple cross border move when parents will still live only a few miles apart can have major impacts on school attendance, and coordination of vacation schedules in cross-border blended families can be, at best, a daunting experience. In the not-distant past, we in family law frequently saw some moves that could only charitably called high-handed, when one parent would either move to another state or to a distant county in Kentucky, forcing the other parent to scramble in order to regain some measure of parenting time. In other instances, we would see moves that were seemingly agreed, yet the party who never left would grab the child at the first opportunity while attempting to game the legal system through a series of temporary orders.
The system, as a result, was chaotic as it related to moves which impacted child custody. There were many moves which occurred as a complete surprise, and other moves were stymied or interrupted through vindictive and abusive litigation tactics.
Kentucky Courts recognized the magnitude of the problem, and addressed some of the more abusive issues through passage of a rule which requires that a party seeking to move either across a border or over 100 miles from the current residence provide written notice to the other parent not less than 60 days prior to a move. Further, that rule prohibits any departure from the status quo without explicit modification by the court of its parenting time and custody orders. This rule has enabled parties to craft liveable, agreed solutions, and even in circumstances where the parties can't agree, their concerns and desires are heard and ruled on in a timely fashion in a mandatory proceeding.