Introduced by Senator Ayer of Addison District and Senator Giard of Addison District
Subject: Domestic relations; annulment and divorce; child custody and support
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to require that a custodial parent notify the noncustodial parent of any intentions to relocate a substantial distance with the child. The noncustodial parent may request a hearing on the matter if he or she objects, and the burden shall be upon the custodial parent to prove that the move is in the best interests of the child.
AN ACT RELATING TO CUSTODIAL PARENT RELOCATION
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 15 V.S.A. § 668b is added to read:
§ 668b. CUSTODIAL PARENT RELOCATION
(a) If a custodial parent with whom a child resides a majority of the time seeks to relocate with the child to a residence that would substantially change the geographical ties between the child and the noncustodial parent, the custodial parent shall provide written notice of such intention to the noncustodial parent 90 days prior to the intended date of relocation.
(b) A noncustodial parent who receives notice of a custodial parent’s intention to relocate with the child may request a hearing on the matter by filing for a modification of an order under section 668 of this title within 30 days of receiving notice of the custodial parent’s intent to relocate.
(c) A modification hearing requested pursuant to subsection (b) of this section shall be held within 30 days of such request.
(d) If the noncustodial parent objects to the relocation, the burden shall be upon the custodial parent to prove that the relocation is in the best interests of the child. In consideration of the best interests of the child, in addition to the factors set forth in section 665 of this title, the court shall consider:
(1) The likelihood for enhancing the general quality of life for both the child and the custodial parent.
(2) The motives of the custodial parent for seeking the relocation.
(3) The motives of the noncustodial parent for opposing the relocation.
(4) The noncustodial parent’s right of parent-child contact.
(5) The anticipated impact of the move on the child.
(6) Any advantages of the child remaining with the primary caregiver.
(7) The presence or absence of extended family at the existing location and at the proposed new location.
(8) Whether the court will be able to fashion a reasonable parent-child contact schedule if the relocation occurs.
(e) At the hearing, the court may annul, vary, or modify an order as provided by section 668 of this title.
The Vermont General Assembly
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