LOUIS, Missouri. If you plan to move to a new city or to a new state, it is important to consider the implications this can have on child custody before you sell your house or buy a new place in another town. Before you make plans to move, it is important to review your parenting plan and child custody ruling to make sure the documents do not explicitly restrict you from moving. If the documents don’t address moving, you may wish to speak to a qualified child custody attorney in St. Louis, Missouri. Failing to properly notify the non-custodial parent about your move in Missouri can result in serious consequences—ranging from loss of custody to even criminal charges. The Behrens Law Firm, L.L.C. is a child custody lawyer who can work with you to help you get the best possible outcome given your needs and goals.
If your ex does not agree with your move, the case may need to go before a judge. The judge will determine whether the move is in the best interests of the children. The courts will also want to make sure that the move won’t restrict the other parent’s access to the children and that you are willing to pay for additional transportation fees.
However, if your ex doesn’t want you to move, you should be prepared for a fight. According to the St. Louis University School of Law, Missouri’s relocation laws are restrictive, and make it difficult for parents to move to pursue better career prospects. Missouri, unlike other states, exerts pressure on parents who are moving within the state, even to a home near to their current location. While most states allow parents to relocate as long as the move isn’t a certain distance away, Missouri requires parents to potentially change their child custody agreement if they want to move. The law essentially restricts the motion of women more than it does the movement of men. Mothers are particularly harmed by these restrictive laws, as approximately 80% of parents seeking to relocate are women. Under Missouri’s laws, only the primary custodial parent is subject to the relocation law.
Under the law, if you plan to relocate, you need to provide the other parent with at least 60 days notice. The notice must provide contact information for the new location and let the other parent know the reasons for the move. Individuals who fail to provide notice face serious penalties. In some cases, parents can lose custody of their children and even face jail time.
If you are planning to move in Missouri, it is important that you follow the law and submit all documentation properly. Because the consequences can be dire when parents fail to follow the law, parents who wish to move are wise to speak to a child custody lawyer. If you have questions about your upcoming move and its possible impact on your parenting plan and custody rights, visit www.barbarabehrensdivorceattorney.com to learn more.