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, Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma in matters of child custody and relocation. We answer your questions about the law and help you make the right decisions.
Missouri Relocation Requirements
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 in Missouri?
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.
Illinois Relocation Requirements
Under Illinois law, there is an important distinction between whether a party is moving or relocating. This can be somewhat confusing and is defined as follows:
A parent is merely moving if he or she seeks to move the children
- less than 25 miles from the child’s current primary residence in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, or Will Counties;
- less than 50 miles from the child’s current primary residence in any other county;
- to a residence outside Illinois that is less than 25 miles from the child’s current primary residence in any county.
A parent is relocating if he or she seeks to relocate the children:
- more than 25 miles from the child’s current primary residence in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, or Will Counties;
- more than 50 miles from the child’s current primary residence in any other Illinois county;
- to a residence outside Illinois that is more than 25 miles from the current residence from the child’s current primary residence in any county.
If the parent is relocating, the relocating parent must give the other parent at least 60 days notice (a shorter notice period is allowed if 60 days is impractical) and a copy of the notice must be filed with the court, the notice must include:
- the date you plan to move,
- your new address (if known),
- whether the relocation will be permanent or temporary and, if temporary, its expected duration.
If the non-relocating parent agrees to the relocation, they can sign the notice. The parties can then agree to a modified custody schedule that reflects the agreement. On the other hand, if the non-relocating parent objects and refuses to sign the notice, the relocating parent must petition the court for approval to relocate. The court then has to hold a hearing to determine whether the relocation is allowed.
Kansas Relocation Requirements
Under Kansas law, a parent wants to move and change the child’s residence, or even just take a child away for more than 90 days, that parent has to notify the other parent at least 30 days beforehand. The notice must be in writing and has to be sent by registered mail, return receipt requested, to the other parent’s last known address.
If a parent gives notice of a proposed move to the other parent, and the other parent objects, then the matter shifts to the courts. The court then has to make a decision just like in Missouri or Illinois.
Oklahoma Relocation Requirements
Oklahoma law starts with a presumption that custodial parents have a right to relocate with their minor children (unless the children’s welfare is at risk). In essence, a custodial parent is free to relocate with the minor child without court approval if it’s less than 75 miles from the child’s current residence for a period of less than 60 days. If a parent wants to move further or for a longer period, they need to give notice to the other parent, and the notice must meet specific requirements. The custodial parent must send a written notice to the other parent’s last-known address no later than 60 days before the date of the proposed move. If sending notice this far in advance is an impossibility, custodial parents should send notice as soon as possible, but no less than 10 days after they have determined that a move is needed.
Contact an Attorney For Help With Your Relocation Issue in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, or Oklahoma
Because the requirements to move with a child are very specific by state, it is vital to meet with an attorney who is licensed in your jurisdiction as soon as possible versus just moving and not abiding by the requirements. At the same time, if you wish to object to the other parent moving, you do not want to miss a deadline. Thus, it is vital to meet with an attorney right away.
To learn more about the law on relocation, contact us online or by phone to schedule a consultation at any of our convenient locations. We have locations in St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia, Springfield, Wichita, Tulsa and beyond.