Dealing with parental relocation

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Monday, September 30, 2019.

The magnitude of divorce proceedings may make it difficult for those going through them in Springfield to maintain the perspective that life will indeed go on once they are resolved. Part of that may include one who is party to such proceedings deciding to move on to a new community. If the couple has children together, however, that can complicate matters (and bring up the bitterness that might have been present during their divorce once again).

To avoid this, the state has established guidelines that divorced parents are to follow when the issue of parental relocation arises. The court will consider adherence to these guidelines when determining the modification of a child custody agreement in the face of a proposed move. Thus, both the parent wanting to move and the one staying behind should be familiar with them. Those who think that such an issue would never come up in their case may want to think again; according to the website Move.org, “Family Reasons” and “Change in Marital Status” both rank among the top 10 reasons why Americans relocate.

Per Section 452.377 of Missouri’s Domestic Relations Code, a custodial parent wishing to relocate with their children must provide notice of their intentions at least 60 days prior to moving. This notice must include the following:

  • Their destination city (as well as their new physical address, if it is already known)
  • The telephone number of their new residence (if known)
  • The date of their proposed move
  • A statement detailing their reasons for moving (as well as why they are taking the children with them)
  • A proposed revised custody schedule

The non-relocating parent can choose to dispute the move, which is why it is recommended that divorced parents collaborate on a new custody agreement before announcing the proposed move to the court.

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