The Honorable Dennis Daugaard
President of the Senate
Pierre, SD 57501-5070
Dear Mr. President and Members of the Senate:
I herewith return Senate Bill 181 with the following recommendations as to STYLE and FORM.
Senate Bill 181 is an Act to require notice before relocating a child not living with both legal
The bill requires that a relocating parent giver 45 days notice to the other parent prior to moving.
The requirement that a relocating parent give notice to the other parent is consistent with
fundamental fairness. In most cases, divorced parents are communicating and cooperating for
the benefit of the children. Unfortunately, I recognize that some divorced parents do not
communicate nor do they cooperate. Thus, I believe Senate Bill 181 is needed. However,
language in the bill, specifically the phrase "unless the court of record finds good cause for a
shorter period of notice" creates an ambiguity regarding whether the relocating parent must first
get court approval should the facts prevent the full 45 day notice. I am concerned about the
situation where a good job or career advancement is offered to a parent but the start date
required by the new employer prevents compliance with the full 45 day notice requirement.
The proponents assure me that it is there intention that a court would find under this factual
scenario, that a shorter period of notice is nevertheless reasonable. Since that is the legislative
intent, and there is a clear ambiguity, I recommend the following language to clarify and carry
out the legislative intent of the bill:
On Page 1 line 8 of the Senate Judiciary engrossed bill, after relocation, delete the rest of the
line and insert "or a shorter period if reasonable under the specific facts giving rise to the
relocation." On Page 1, line 9, delete "of notice."
I respectfully request you concur with my recommendations as to style and form.