What steps do I have to take if I want to relocate with my child?
If you want to change your child’s residence, you have to provide written notice to the other parent unless the final parenting plan specifically says you do not have to.1
If the change in residence will significantly affect the child’s contact with the other parent, then you have to file a motion for amendment of the residential schedule and a proposed revised residential schedule in court. The motion must be served personally or by certified mail on the other parent and to the parent’s attorney at least 30 days before the proposed change in residence. The notice must include this statement: “The relocation of the child may be permitted and the proposed revised residential schedule may be ordered by the court without further proceedings unless within 21 days you file a response and alternate revised residential schedule with the court and serve your response on the person proposing the move and all other persons entitled by the court order to residential time or visitation with the child.”2
The other parent then has 21 days to file a response in court. If the other parent objects to the proposed revised residential schedule, s/he has to include an alternate proposed revised residential schedule with the response. Then the judge would hold a hearing and consider specific factors to decide whether or not to allow the move.3
If the other parent doesn’t file a response within the 21-day period, then the law will treat it as if the other parent agrees with the move and it’s OK for you to relocate.4
The Montana Courts website has additional information on the steps for filing a notice of intent to move.
1 R.C.M. § 40-4-217(1)
2 R.C.M. § 40-4-217(2)
3 R.C.M. § 40-4-217(3)
4 R.C.M. § 40-4-217(4)