complex divorce, custody and paternity matters

Focus on Family Law, Emphasis on You


For many couples, the issue of parental relocation stirs intense emotions and often results in heated courtroom battles. No caring parent wants to be separated from their child and denied the opportunity to remain a constant presence in their child's life. However, relocation may be unavoidable for a parent with primary physical custody. Perhaps they obtained a new job or want the child to have access to a better quality of life. Perhaps they are attempting to escape an abusive or unfit relationship with the non-custodial 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 17 years. We are well-prepared to protect you and your children.

We define our success in terms of meeting our clients' needs. Whether you are in the middle of a parental relocation battle or have questions about how to proceed, we can help. Contact us today to schedule a convenient appointment at our centrally located St. Louis law office.

Our firm utilizes a client-centered approach in every family law matter we handle. This means we take the time to listen to a client's concerns, explain the law, discuss their options, and clarify a legal plan of action. It also means that our attorneys are available to answer questions and update clients on the status of their case. We feel that this approach provides clients with much-needed comfort during otherwise challenging times.

Parental Relocation Background

Custodial parents seeking to relocate, whether within Missouri, or outside Missouri, must give notice to the other parent in very specific fashion. There are specific, detailed requirements for the parent giving the notice, as well as strict timelines placed on the receiving parent in responding to such notice. In short, a custodial parent that intends to relocate with the children must give at least sixty (60) days written notice to the other parent, along with a host of other information, including:

  • The address of the new residence
  • The telephone number of the new residence
  • The proposed date of the relocation
  • A short statement outlining the reasoning for the relocation (if applicable)
  • A proposed revised custody or visitation schedule (if applicable)

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 both the effect the move will have on the child (as the child's best interests are still the primary consideration), as well as the effect a move may have on the non-residential 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, whether within the state, or outside Missouri.

The law in Missouri regarding parental relocation is set out herein. Please note: This document will open in its own window, Adobe Acrobat Reader is required for viewing.

Ready to Advocate on Your Behalf

We are prepared to aggressively advocate your pursuit or defense of a relocation request and to protect your child's best interests. In some cases, we have successfully demonstrated the importance of parental relocation due to the danger of abuse. In other cases, we have shown that the child should stay in town with their parent who holds a steady job, or because the parenting plan will be disrupted to the detriment of the child if removed from Missouri.

We can help resolve your complex parental relocation issues in an effective and efficient manner. Contact us today to schedule a convenient consultation.