Relocating With a Child Custody Agreement

When Can a Child Go With You?

When life hands you something big, such as a new position at work or perhaps even a new relationship, that big moment might require a move to a new place of residence. If you want to take your child with you yet you have a custody agreement, the child cannot simply up and move. Missouri has specific laws related to child relocation and child custody, so before you pack your bags and go somewhere with your children, read the following information.

Relocation Defined

Missouri law defines relocation as a change in a child’s residence that lasts for 90 days or longer. If the move is for a lesser period of time, then it is considered a temporary relocation and is not subject to the same relocation laws.

Steps to Relocate

In order to relocate with your children, you must first provide the non-custodial parent with written notice of your plans to relocate. This step must be done within 60 days of your planned move and must include the following information:

  • The new location where you will be residing, including the mailing address, specific address, and city.

  • The home telephone number of the new location (if a home phone number is attached to the residence).

  • The date that you plan to relocate to this new location.

  • The reasons for which you are locating and the reasons for which you would like to take the child.

  • A proposal for a new custody and visitation schedule.

Communicating the information above is crucial to following Missouri’s relocation statutes. Failing to provide this information can have serious negative consequences for the parent wishing to relocate.

The party moving is responsible for continuing to communicate location updates beyond this initial relocation, meaning if you end up moving again after relocating, you must continue to notify the non-custodial parent of this information.

The non-relocating parent does have the right to file a motion with the court stating their rejection of the relocation and must do so within 30 days of receiving the relocating parent’s written notice. Should they choose to do so, they must then be able to prove that such a relocation would not serve the child’s best interests. The parent wishing to relocate then has 14 days to provide a response to the rejection.

Working with a Custody Attorney

Should you find yourself in a situation where you must relocate or are served a written notice of your ex-spouse’s intention to relocate, you should consult with a custody attorney as soon as possible to determine your best course of action. Rutter and Sleeth Law Offices is committed to helping our clients work through custody issues and finding the best possible outcome.

To speak with one of our custody attorneys, call us at (573) 279-1349 or visit us online.