Relocation Attorney in St. Louis
Need help with a relocation case? We can help.
Sorting out a workable child custody or visitation arrangement in St. Louis, MO can be a stressful undertaking in and of itself. When one parent wishes to move away with their child, however, this matter can become even more complicated. For this reason, The Buxner Law Firm encourages you not to handle a relocation case on your own. There are a number of specific procedures that must be followed in a Missouri relocation case, so it is highly recommended that you enlist the help of a family law attorney at the outset of your case.
Understanding the Relocation Process in Missouri
Under Missouri Revised Statute § 452.377, there are strict procedures that a parent must follow if they wish to relocate with their child for 90 days or longer—assuming that another party also maintains custody or visitation rights, be it the other parent or a third party (i.e. grandparents). Before relocating with their child, the parent must notify all applicable parties of the proposed move, in writing, at least 60 days prior.
This notice must include all of the following information:
- The specific address or city of the proposed new residence
- The home telephone number of the new residence
- The date that they intend to move to the new residence
- The reasons why they wish to relocate with their child
- Proposed revisions to the custody or visitation schedule
If the parent fails to notify all applicable parties of the proposed relocation, the court may take this into consideration when deciding on a modified custody or visitation schedule. It may also serve as a basis for ordering the return of the child if the relocation happens without notice. Furthermore, the parent may be required to pay reasonable expenses and attorney fees if the other party objects to the relocation.
Preventing the Relocation of Your Child
If you have received notice that your former spouse or the other parent of your child wishes to relocate their principle residence for more than 90 days, it is important to understand that you have the right to object. With the help of a St. Louis divorce lawyer from The Buxner Law Firm, you can file a motion with the court seeking to prevent the relocation. This must be done within 30 days of receiving notice of the proposed move, and must include specific reasons why you object, or do not support, the relocation of your child.
The Move Must Be in the Best Interest of the Child
Are you interested in relocating with your child? If so, it is imperative that you follow proper procedures. If the other parent or a third party with custody or visitation rights objects to the relocation, you would only have 14 days to formally respond to their objection. It is at this point that the court would get involved. The burden of proof lies with the parent who wishes to relocate, which means that you would need to provide reasons why the move would be in the best interest of your child. Most cases will hinge upon this one factor.
Some of the factors that the court will take into consideration include:
- Will the move improve the quality of life for the custodial parent and the child?
- Is the motive for the relocation to prohibit time with the other parent?
- Will the other parent be able to maintain a meaningful relationship with the child?
- Will the custodial parent be able to comply with the new visitation schedule?
- Will the cost of transportation be reasonable under the new visitation schedule?
- Is the health of the child or either parent a factor in the relocation case?
Put 20+ Years of Family Law Experience on Your Side
At The Buxner Law Firm, we are available to represent parents on either side of a relocation case. Whether you are interested in relocating with your child after a divorce or you want to stop your former spouse from moving away with your child, you will find the aggressive advocacy that you need when you come to one of our St. Louis divorce attorneys for help. With more than 20 years of family law experience and a track record of success in the field, our firm understands the ins and outs of the relocation process in Missouri.
Call today at (314) 863-6000 to find out how The Buxner Law Firm can help.
If you would prefer to contact us online, you can also fill out a free case evaluation form.