Relocation of Residence Issues

Important Considerations When Relocating with Children

One of the cornerstones of Missouri custody law is that both sets of parents and their child have frequent and meaningful contact. Missouri divorce attorneys and child custody attorneys operate in a legal system that has a clear preference for an outcome where both parents share in the decision making process on behalf of their minor children and also where each parent has a substantial period of physical custody with their children.

In circumstances when it is in the children’s best interest to have significant custody periods with both parents, the family court will work through what can often be a delicate balance, taking into account many factors including the parent’s respective work schedules and the child’s academic commitments, to create a schedule that is in the child’s best interest. However, this delicate balance can be upset when either parent wants to relocate their residence to a new address that will make the existing physical custody schedule logistically impractical. Missouri family law attorneys and judges are often faced with this dilemma in determining a child’s best interest in the context of a proposed move. These type of cases are often referred to as “relocation cases”.

Missouri Law

In 1998, Missouri amended its law (Missouri Statute Section 452.377) to set forth clear steps that must take place if a parent or other party, who is entitled to custody of a child, desires to relocate the residence of that child. In short, at least sixty (60) days prior to any move, the parent wanting to relocate their home must send written notice, by certified mail, to any other parent or party with custody rights of their intent to move. That notice must contain the following information:

  1. The intended new residence, including the specific address and mailing address, if known, and if not known, the city;
  2. The home telephone number of the new residence, if known;
  3. The date of the intended move or proposed relocation;
  4. A brief statement of the specific reasons for the proposed relocation of a child, if applicable, and
  5. A proposal for a revised schedule of custody or visitation, if applicable.

The party who receives the notice, has thirty (30) days from the date of the receipt of the notice to file a motion to prevent the move. If the motion to prevent relocation is timely filed, the move cannot take place unless the court allows it. In determining whether to allow the relocation, a Missouri family court judge must make a determination if the proposed move is made in good faith and is in the best interest of the child.

If you are faced with the prospects of a potential relocation case, whether you desire to move with your child or want to prevent a move, an experienced Missouri Family Law Attorney at the Bellon Law Group can guide you through process.

Contact The Bellon Law Group today to schedule a confidential consultation regarding your rights and the rights of your child.

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