RSMO. § 452.377

Another common issue that I help families with, is the issue of moving with their children. This prospect can become quite complex and results vary depending on the specific set of circumstances. Here are a few common scenarios to help illustrate.

Scenario 1: We were never married and have never gone to court to obtain a court-ordered parenting plan, can I move and take the children with me, or can my ex do the same without my permission?

a.This is a common scenario. The problem is, there is no court order that anybody can enforce against the other parent…so anytime you exchange the children, you are rolling the dice that the other parent will bring them back at your agreed upon time and date.

b.It also follows then, that if either parent wanted to, they could relocate with the children without the other parent’s permission and force the parent to file a court action to try and get the children back to their original home state.

c. This is why it is so important to have a court-ordered parenting plan that controls what both parents can and cannot do, with respect to relocating with the children. Every court-ordered parenting plan is required by law to include specific language pursuant to RSMo. § 452.377, which I will explain in more detail in the following sections.
Contact a dedicated Kansas City Divorce and Custody Lawyer to help you decide what move is right for you.

Scenario 2: My ex and I have been divorced for some time and my new spouse has been offered an amazing job 6 states away…can I move and take my children with me?

You can absolutely move…but your children cannot go with you without an agreement from the other parent, or permission from the court, and here’s why…the following clause was taken out of a sample parenting plan.

It restates RSMo. § 452.377 and being that this goes in every parenting plan, you are obligated to abide by this clause or face numerous amounts of potential sanctions.

“Relocation. Neither party will change their residence without the written consent of the other parent, or the approval of the Court, subject to the terms and conditions of Section 452.377, R.S.Mo., as amended.

Absent exigent circumstances as determined by a Court with jurisdiction, Each party shall notify the Other, in writing by certified mail, return receipt requested, at least sixty (60) days prior to their proposed relocation of their new intended residence and include the following information:

The intended new residence, including the specific address and mailing address, if known, and if not known, the city and state;

The home telephone number of the new residence, if known;

The date of the intended move or proposed relocation;

A brief statement by Parent of the specific reasons for the proposed relocation and;

A proposal for a revised schedule of custody or visitation with the child if the proposed relocation will impact upon custody of or visitation with the child.

The obligation to provide this information to the other party continues as long as the party is entitled to custody, visitation or parenting time with the minor child.

The failure to obey the order of the court regarding the proposed relocation may result in further litigation to enforce such order, including contempt of court. In addition, the failure to notify a party of a relocation of the child may be considered in a proceeding to modify custody or visitation with the child.

Reasonable costs and attorney fees may be assessed against the party who fails to give the required notice.

The party objecting to relocation must file a motion seeking an order preventing the relocation or modifying custody within thirty (30) days of receipt of notification of an intended relocation; The party objecting to relocation may risk waiving his right to object to relocation unless legal action is taken within thirty (30) days of receipt of notification of an intended relocation, even if the notification of intended relocation is not in proper form.”

Pay attention to the five bullet points that are listed in the statute/law. Failing to provide this complete and timely notice can end with you being forced to return the children, temporary custody orders that you are NOT going to be happy with, and other potential sanctions such as having to pay the other parent’s attorney fees to defend the relocation.

Contact a dedicated Kansas City Divorce and Custody Lawyer to help you decide what move is right for you.

Did you know?

That relocation also includes an in-state move…even if it is simply a move across the cul-de-sac, you must provide the other parent notice that the child’s home is being changed. The notice must comply with the statutory requirements listed above.

Obviously, most parents don’t fight about this type of move, and no court action is usually necessary…

BUT, arguments can be sparked when it comes to who has the “address designation” (the child’s address for mailing and educational purposes) and if they move to a different school district.

Contact Anthony Moreno to help you decide what move is right for you.

So what’s the good news?

The good news IS…everything in the family law arena is negotiable, including relocation. There is almost always some give and take that can be compromised to achieve the results you seek.

Almost everyone is opposed to a parent moving away with their children in the beginning. A great Kansas City Divorce and Custody Lawyer can artfully explain how everyone can stand to benefit from a relocation, by drafting a new parenting plan with visitation that works for your family.

Contact Kansas City Divorce and Custody Lawyer, Anthony Moreno today to discover what options are available for your relocation.