Difficulties arise when the custodial parent wants to move and the visitation commute would be challenging for the noncustodial parent.
Your divorce was complicated, emotions ran high, and it was challenging. However, now that time has passed, you may want to move on with your life, which may mean getting remarried. But what if your new partner lives in another state or another city? Can you relocate with your children?
At The Betz Law Firm, our team has been involved in relocation cases on both sides of the issue. If you can present a good reason why relocation is beneficial and necessary, we can help you build your argument.
Relocating with Kids After Divorce
After divorce, custody arrangements work well for the long term, especially when both parties live relatively close to each other. However, difficulties arise when the custodial parent wants to move, and the visitation commute would be challenging for the noncustodial parent. Relocating with your children is a difficult circumstance that requires court approval.
Relocation and Custody Rules
While most states mandate a certain geographical distance allowed by a custodial parent to move with their children, Missouri asserts that any move can only be made with the noncustodial parent’s consent, even if it is only a few minutes difference. The parent who maintains physical custody of the children must provide their co-parent in writing of any intent to move. Failing to do so could result in a contempt of court order for the parent.
It is in your best interest to help you draft such notifications to the noncustodial parent. The law in Missouri is evident that the intent to relocate must be sent to the parent in written form by registered or certified mail with a return receipt. There are very strict criteria for what the letter must state, including where you are moving to and why. It also must include any proposed changes to your parenting plan. This notice has to be given 60 days before you plan on moving.
Considering the Child’s Best Interest
Missouri’s custody statute factors help the court determine what is in the child’s best interest. If the custodial parent wants to move, there are additional factors for the court to consider. Some of these include:
- Whether or not there are family members from either side that live near the new location
- The quality of the schools in the new area
- The reasons why the parent want to relocate
- Opportunity for the custodial parent to get a better job or make more money
- The ability of the noncustodial parent to still see the child after the move
The judge will weigh the possible benefits to the child against the downside of living farther away from the noncustodial parent. It’s necessary to note that both parents must abide by the original agreement before the judge approves the new arrangement.
St. Louis Relocation Attorney
Our team has been involved in relocation cases on both sides of the issue. If you can present a good reason why relocation is beneficial, we can help you build your argument. If you are a noncustodial parent fighting for your right to be an active part of your child’s life, we will be your advocate in court. In addition to the custody issues surrounding a relocation, we can assist parents with the logistics involved in a long-distance parenting relationship, such as plans for extended visitation during school holidays, travel plans and expenses, contact and adjustments to legal custody, and child support. Although challenging in Missouri, it is not unheard of for both parties to reach an agreement that looks after the interests of everyone involved.
Speak With an Experienced Attorney
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