The average person relocates about twelve times during his or her lifetime. Most of these moves happen before age 40, and many involve young children of unmarried parents. People move for various reasons. Most people relocate for job purposes or to be closer to, or farther away from, family. However, the legal procedure for a move-away modification is usually the same in Missouri.
Whether you are a residential parent who wants to relocate with the children or a non-residential parent looking to block such a move, a Liberty child custody attorney can normally resolve these matters out of court. These resolutions are usually preferable to an emotional courthouse showdown, especially for the children. In the end, their best interests are all that matters in these cases.
Recently, many states have relaxed their move-away modification laws, especially for short-distance moves. But the Show-Me State has some of the strictest such laws in the country.
In most cases, if you plan to move with the children, you must give at least sixty days’ notice. Judges usually only waive this requirement if the children are not physically or mentally safe where they are. In such cases, the judge may also mask the children’s new address.
The notice must include all contact information, and must also include the reason(s) for the request and a proposed amended visitation schedule. Failure to timely provide proper notice could mean denial of the request, as well as other sanctions.
Proving or Disproving a Request
The judge will approve the relocation if it is in the best interests of the children. Some factors to consider include:
- Child’s preference
- Child’s relationship with step-relatives, if applicable
- Parents’ ability to co-parent
- Good or bad things about the child’s current environment
Relocations are almost always in the parents’ best interests. The child’s best interests, however, are another matter. Generally, these motions hinge on the different environments for the children. If the move would improve their lives, the judge will most likely allow it, as long as the current visitation schedule remains largely intact.
Residential changes after a divorce must be in the children’s best interests. For a confidential consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Liberty, contact Aramjoo Law Firm, LLC. We routinely handle matters in Clay County and nearby jurisdictions.
Can I move with my kids after a divorce?
Yes, if the relocation is in the children’s best interests.
What are some factors to consider?
The judge often looks at agreements between the parties, the child’s needs, and the child’s current living environment.
How can I keep my ex from moving away with my kids?
You have the burden of proof to show that the proposed move is not in the children’s best interests.