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Every year sees a flurry of people move both into Ohio, away from the state and within its boundaries. Relocations are often motivated by people wanting to experience life in new areas (indeed, according to information shared by Move.org, of the number of Americans who relocate, 34 percent move out of the county in which they currently reside). Yet if a person wanting to move is separated from their children’s other parent (and that person shares or has primary custody of the kids), then simply picking up and moving away with the kids is not an option. Rather, certain steps must be filed in order to not damage their custodial status. 

According to Section 3109.051 of Ohio’s Revised Code, the first of those steps is to provide the court that issued their parenting plan with notice of their intention of relocating. One will notice that immediately notifying the children’s other parent is not mandated. This is because state courts understand that in cases where the safety of the children involved (or the parent wishing to relocate) may be a sensitive issue. Thus, the court is the one to determine whether or not the other parent needs to be notified of an impending relocation. If it decides that they should know, the court will be one the notify them. 

Upon receiving notice of a divorced or separated parent’s intention to relocate with the kids, either the non-relocating parent or the court may request a hearing in order to review the couple’s custody agreement and see if a modification is needed in order to allow the non-relocating parent consistent access to the children. If the relocating parent chooses to not provide notice, the court may order that the children be returned pending such a hearing.