Relocation With A Child

Relocating With A Child In Missouri After Divorce

Life keeps changing when a marriage or a nonmarital relationship ends. Often, these changes lead to one person deciding to move to a different city or out of state for a job opportunity, to be near family or due to a new relationship. If a person wishes to relocate with a minor child, he or she must first obtain court approval. Missouri laws protect the rights of a child’s parent regardless of who has physical custody or in cases where parents share physical custody.

Many states limit the distance a parent can relocate with a child in order to ensure the other parent is able to spend time with that child. In Missouri, a custodial parent is restricted from moving without the consent of the other parent or court approval no matter the distance. Notice of a request to relocate must be sent by certified mail to the other parent at least 60 days before the planned move. The request must include where the parent intends to move, the reasons for moving and why the parent feels the move is in the child’s best interest.

Responding Promptly To A Notice Of Relocation Is Critical

A parent who receives a notice of relocation letter has 30 days to file a formal objection with the court. As such, it is critical to act promptly in these matters. If a parent fails to respond within the 30-day period following receipt of such a notice, he or she hs waived their right to object to the move. If a parent does object to a request to relocate, a hearing will be scheduled and a family law judge will determine the outcome.

If a hearing occurs, it is the petitioning parent’s responsibility to demonstrate to the court how the move is in the child’s best interest. A parent cannot relocate in order to limit the amount of time a child has with the other parent. In fact, a petitioning parent must provide details about how a child will continue to spend time with the nonrelocating parent despite the increased distance between the child and that parent.

It is important that a parent does not relocate with a child without following these legal steps. Doing so may negatively impact the parent’s current custodial rights.

Ready To Assist You With A Relocation Issue

Attorney Howard L. Lotven of Howard L. Lotven, A Professional Corporation, represents parents who wish to relocate with a child as well as parents who wish to prevent a custodial parent from moving away. We have extensive experience dealing with relocation cases and presenting the strongest possible argument. You can contact us online for a free consultation or call 816-399-5639 today.