have you contacted your ex-spouse concerning your move? If not, I suggest doing that as well. I suggest having you two put your heads together in amending the parenting plan to cater to both needs, (i.e. shared transportation costs for kids, etc.). Also, when sending your Relocation Petition Letter, make sure you include your case number. The letter should be sent To Ex-Spouse and CC'd to Clerk of Courts, any attorneys if aplicable, and any behavioral health professionals involved in your case.
I don't want to pry in your reasons behind moving, but I will suggest that if your move is due to receiving a better job and better living environment, then state it in the letter! Thus showing that it would be in the best interest of your children to move because your job will offer better pay, the new environment has less crime, you are moving closer to your family, schools are better. Add into the letter anything that will promote additional benefit to your children.
Example: Say you've been unemployed too often where you are currently living, or your current income status caused you to seek state help, then you suddenly find a break where you can offer your children a better life and you a stable job. The court is more likely to accept this. It even adds a perk if you also state that your will be moving closer to relatives, etc. Be thorough, be clear, be to the point.
Typically, after you notify your ex and file the letter with the clerk of courts, your ex has 90 days to contest. If after this time lapses and you hear nothing, nothing really can stop you. That of course is the case for me in Ohio. I think my district requires 30 days notice, tho.
Be prepared to return back to court however. Being that you share joint custody puts you in a more difficult position where the ex can file to transfer physical custody and the court will rule in his favor. It happens alot because the court sees it as rendering the shared custody arrangement unworkable, esp if the relocation is more than 50 miles away.
If you need any further help, or suggestions in critiquing your letter before mailing it out, feel free to ask!
Hope I was helpful!
Sample Letter: (amend as it applies to you)
Return Receipt Article Number: (The top "Return Receipt Article" number should be the Return Receipt number for the copy going to the court clerk.)
To: (your ex-spouse)
Date: (today's date)
RE: Notice of Intent to Permanently Relocate
As per our (divorce decree, custody & visitation orders) outlined in the court order, (page #, section #, paragraph #)I am writing you to notify you that it is my intention to Relocate to (city, state) , on the following date (date).
(body, give reason for relocation and give new mailing address if aplicable.)
Should you have any concerns regarding my move please contact me at your earliest convenience to discuss this matter thoroughly. If I receive no response to the contrary, I will assume you are in mutual agreement of my intent to relocate.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you, (Sincerely, etc. etc.)
(Your name, address and telephone number)
CC: Court Clerk, Court # (number), (County)
Return Receipt Article #: (number)
Reference: Case # (Divorce case number, found on the front page of the divorce decree or in the custody or visitation orders)
*ANYTHING IN PARENTHESIS NEEDS TO BE REPLACED WITH THE CORRECT INFO REGARDING YOUR CASE AND INFORMATION.
*In addition to the copy you send to the court, enclose a simple letter stating your intentions to move and that you wish to have the enclosed copy of the letter that you sent to your ex placed in the court file. (Be gracious and polite and thank them for their trouble, make no accusations, just request they place the letter in the court file and give them the Case number in as many places as possible to make it easy for them.)
Disclosure: In no way or form was this note offered as legal advice.