Relocation 2018-06-29T03:26:14+00:00


We provide attentive help for your relocation situation.  

The culture now more than ever requires parents to relocate because of their careers, relationships, and personal preferences after separations. With the exception of an agreement stating otherwise, relocation in Missouri is pursuant to statute. The Missouri relocation statute prohibits a parent from relocating a child’s residence for a period of 90 days or longer without first notifying the other parent at least 60 days in advance of the relocation. (RSMo. §452.377

Giving Notice

The statutory intent is to protect the custody and visitation rights of the other parent.  The notice of relocation pursuant to the statute must include:

(1) The intended new residence, including the specific address and mailing address, if known, and if not, then the city
(2) Home telephone of the new residence
(3) The date of the intended move to the new residence
(4) Brief statement of the specific reasons for the proposed relocation of the child
(5) A proposal for a revised custody schedule or visitation with the child

Failure to Provide Notice

Any parent requesting relocation must provide the other parent with changes to the information set forth under the statue as soon as possible. The failure of a parent to provide proper statutory notice may have a detrimental impact on your case, including:

(1) the Court will use the failure to provide notice as a factor in determining whether custody and visitation should be modified by the Court
(2) the Court may consider the failure to provide notice as a basis for ordering the return of the child
(3) the failure to provide notice may be sufficient cause to order a parent to pay the reasonable expenses and attorneys’ fees of the parent objecting to the relocation

Extraordinary Circumstances

In the event of exceptional circumstances, the Court may find that the health or safety of the child or parent seeking relocation would be placed at risk by disclosing some of the information required by the statute. In these situations, the Court may allow some of the notice requirements to be waived to protect child or parent.

For example, the Court may order that the relocating parent need not provide his or her address to the other parent or on any pleading filed with the Court.

It is ultimately within the discretion of the Court to take appropriate actions necessary to protect the needs of the parties or a child.

Burden of Proof, Filing an Objection

If adequate notice is given pursuant to the statute, the non-relocating parent may file an objection with the Court to prevent the relocation. It is important to speak with an attorney during these circumstances, as certain deadlines are applicable to an objection. Typically, the non-relocating parent should object within thirty (30) days of receipt of notice of the relocation and provide specific reasons as to why the relocation would be detrimental to his or her relations with the child.

Upon filing a proper objection, the burden of proof then shifts to the parent seeking relocation to prove to the Court that the relocation is in the best interest of the child. There are eight factors the Court considers when determining best interest.

  • The wishes of the parents

  • The need to assure a continuing and meaningful relationship with both parents and which parent would be more likely to facilitate that relationship

  • The interaction of the child with parents, siblings and other family members

  • Which parent would more likely allow frequent, continuing and meaningful contact with the other parent

  • The child’s adjustment to home, school and community

  • The mental and physical health of both parents, including any issues of domestic violence

  • The intention of either parent to relocate

  • The wishes of the child, if the child is sufficiently mature to express such wishes

The response to the objection should be made within fourteen (14) days of receipt of the objection.

Importantly, it is possible to reach an agreement with the other parent that preserves each parent’s relationship with the child. The goal of Family Advocates Law Firm is to help you come to an agreement that works for you and your child.  

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If a party seeking to relocate violates Missouri’s statutory provisions, the Court may find a party in contempt of Court and award sanctions. Additionally, failure to abide by the statutory guidelines may be considered a change in circumstances sufficient to allow the Court to modify the parties’ prior decree.

Let Us Help

Relocation matters are complex and sensitive to parties and the Court. If you are seeking to relocate, or attempting to prevent your child from moving, you should speak with an attorney to protect your interests. Family Advocates Law Firm represents parents across Missouri, including residents of St. Louis County, St. Louis City, St. Charles County, Jefferson County, Lincoln County, and Franklin County. 

Let us help ease your anxiety over the process. Call us today for a free consultation to discuss your unique situation.

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