What if there is a dispute over child relocation in Missouri?

On Behalf of | Sep 7, 2018 | Divorce

For Missouri couples who are getting a divorce, there is a litany of issues that must be dealt with. Even when the case has been settled and the factors in dispute have seemingly been addressed, that does not mean the peace will last forever. This is especially true when there are children involved. In some instances, the custodial parent will want to relocate with the child. Even in cases where there is a relatively amicable parting of the ways, relocation can cause problems that turn the relationship contentious if not outright hostile. Understanding how the law of the state deals with relocation is imperative for both sides.

Relocation refers to a change in the child’s principal residence for at least 90 days. It does not mean a temporary change of residence. When there is a proposed relocation, the noncustodial parent must be informed in writing. It must be provided at least 60 days before the move. The notice must have the following: the new residence with its address if it is known – if it is not known, the city must be given, the new home telephone number, when the move is intended to take place, the reasons for the move and a proposal for custody and visitation to be revised after the move.

Should there be exceptional circumstances such as the safety of the parent or the child is at stake and disclosing the information of where the custodial parent is moving would compromise that safety, the court can order the following: the residence and telephone number not be disclosed, the notice requirements are waived to protect the parent and the child or remedial actions from the court to serve the needs of the parties be undertaken.

The court will take a failure to provide notice into account if there should be a change to custody and visitation; a basis to return the child if there is relocation and no notice was given and sufficient cause to order the relocating party to pay expenses and fees incurred by the parent objecting to the relocation.

When there is a decision by a custodial parent to relocate with a child after a divorce, it can lead to endless dispute and complications. Even in cases where the noncustodial parent is agreeable to the relocation, there are still laws that must be followed so the move is legal. For custodial and noncustodial parents who are facing child custody and visitation issues related to relocation, having legal assistance is critical. A law firm that is well-acquainted with all areas of divorce can help with a case.

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