When a parent wishes to move to another state with their children, they may have to get the other parent's permission before the move. If the other parent objects, they may need a judge's permission instead. Failure to do so can have serious consequences.
Parents who move without the court's permission may be putting their relationship with their children in jeopardy, so it is critical that you talk with an attorney before making major decisions.
At Stange Law Firm, PC, we represent clients throughout Missouri and Illinois in matters of child custody and relocation. We answer your questions about the law and help you make the right decisions.
According to a Missouri statute, any parent who wants to relocate must send a certified letter to other parent 60 days before the proposed move. The certified letter must contain certain information to be valid:
- Where you intend to move: This includes the address and telephone number if you know them. If you do not know them, you must provide the city and state, as well as the date you intend to move.
- A brief statement of the reason you want to move your children: Many parents state reasons such as finding higher paying jobs that will allow the children better lifestyles as a result.
- A proposal for a new schedule of custody or visitation: If custody and visitation will be affected, a reasonable schedule should be outlined in the letter.
Because the requirements for a relocation letter are stringent, any parent thinking of sending a letter of proposed relocation must really ensure with legal counsel that the letter they are sending meets the requirements before sending such a letter.
What to Do if You Have Received a Certified Letter
If you have received a letter like this from your child's other parent, you have only a limited time — 30 days — to object. To do so, you must file a formal objection with the court, which prevents the parent from moving unless the judge holds a hearing on the matter. Failure to do so may mean that you have waived your right to object to the move.
At Stange Law Firm, PC, we represent parents in matters of relocation. Our attorneys can draft documents, file motions and represent clients at hearings. As lawyers who focus solely on family law, we know how the law may affect parents. When parents are concerned about the cost of fighting relocation, we often remind them that the law prevents parents from being penalized and ordered to pay attorney's fees if they file a timely objection in good faith.
If your child's parent has moved without permission, you may be able to get an emergency pick-up order to have the child brought back. Talk with our attorneys about your options.
Contact an Attorney For Help With Your Relocation Issue
We understand that some of you may have questions regarding relocation with your child. We have written articles to help you understand the topic a little more: What if my ex wants to move with my kids?, What can I do if my ex-spouse wants to relocate with our child?, and Missouri child relocation laws: you can't just pick up and move.
To learn more about the law on relocation, contact us online or by phone to schedule a consultation at any of our convenient locations.