01 Sep Can I Move with My Children?
If I had a previous divorce or paternity order, can I move with my children? Yes and No.
Having a visitation/custody arrangement doesn’t prohibit parents from relocating unless it is specifically addressed in your agreement. So generally, yes you can move. However, there are rules surrounding the move. If you plan on moving with your children, you must give proper notice to the other parent. Missouri Revised Statute 452.377 established the procedure for the notice. See Here. In general, the parent must give 60 days written notice detailing the reason for the move, the new location, and the visitation adjustments that will need to be made. The notice gives the other parent the opportunity to formally object and take the relocating party to Court.
Relocating opens the door to litigation. Objecting will require both parties to go back to Court. Failing to provide the required notice will be taken in account if the other party decides to file for a modification of the custody arrangements. He or she can and will likely ask that the children be returned to their original location. This will change primary physical custody to the parent that stayed behind.
It isn’t necessary that the move be out of state. It can be anywhere. But with that being said, there are only a few instances where revising the custody and visitation schedule will be necessary with a simple move across town. The real litigation is going to involve when one parent moves out of the area.
The Lesson in the Law
The law governing moves is meant to push parents into cooperating before they decide to move. If you knew your move would be delayed three or four months with a Court proceeding, would you put the effort in up front? The legislature certainly hoped you would.