Challenging a proposed relocation
It is understandable that following your divorce in Jackson County, both you and your ex-spouse will want to move on with your lives. Yet if moving on to them includes moving away (with your children in tow), then you certainly may have objections to that. Many in your same position have come to see us here at the Stange Law Firm PC questioning if there is anything that they can do to prevent such a relocation from happening (or modify their custody agreements so that their time with their kids is not limited). If you share the same question, you will be happy to learn that there is.
First and foremost, your ex-spouse simply cannot move away with the kids. They have to follow the proper procedures for parental relocation set forth by state law. Per Section 452.377 of Missouri’s Revised Statutes, if your ex-spouse fails to comply with these requirements, the court will consider their actions when determining whether or not to mandate that your children be returned to you and how your custody arrangement should be modified going forward. Only when there are concerns for the children’s safety might your ex-spouse be permitted to move without giving notice. The court may also require them to cover any legal fees that you have to pay to return your kids to your local jurisdiction.
According to state law, your ex-spouse must provide you with written notice of their intention to move at least 60 days prior to relocating. You then have 30 days to submit a petition challenging the relocation. If you do challenge it, your ex-spouse must respond within 15 days of you doing so. The burden of proof falls to them to show why the move would benefit your kids.
More information on parental relocation issues can be found throughout our site.