The issue of parental relocation stirs intense emotions and often results in heated courtroom battles. No caring parent wants to be separated from his or her child and denied the opportunity to remain a constant presence in the child's life. However, relocation may be unavoidable for a parent with primary physical custody. Perhaps the custodial parent obtained a new job or wants the child to have access to a better quality of life. Perhaps they are attempting to escape an abusive or unfit relationship with the noncustodial parent.
Regardless of the situation, you should strongly consider retaining the services of a dedicated and experienced family law attorney to help pursue or defend a parental relocation. At the Law Offices of Susan L. Ward, LLC, we have practiced exclusively in the area of family law for more than 20 years. We are well-prepared to advocate for you and your children in relocation matters and all other family law issues.
We Will Help You Know Your Rights And Your Responsibilities
Custodial parents seeking to relocate — whether within Missouri or outside of the state — must give written notice to the other parent. There are specific requirements for the parent giving notice, as well as strict timelines placed on the receiving parent in responding to such notice. In short, a custodial parent who intends to relocate with the children must give at least 60 days written notice to the other parent, along with a host of other information.
Failure to follow the statute could be considered grounds for a change in custody. Further, reacting to such notice in bad faith may make you more likely to pay the moving parent's attorney fees related to defending such an objection. It is important to consider the effect the move will have on the child, as the child's best interests are still the court's primary concern. It is also important to consider the effect a move may have on the nonresidential parent's custody time. The court must consider both sides of the parental equation when one parent wants to relocate the child a significant distance away.
We Can Answer Your Questions Regarding Relocation
If you have any questions, or if you would like to speak with an experienced St. Louis custody attorney regarding your visitation, grandparents' rights or child support issue, please do not hesitate to call 314-783-9400. If you prefer, you may complete the form on the Contact Us page, and we will respond promptly.