Missouri’s Child Relocation Statute is so confusing, it befuddles parents, it befuddles attorneys, and it befuddles judges.
Parts of it aren’t confusing, though. If you want to move, and you have a child subject to a parenting plan where you share custody or visitation with another parent who no longer lives with you, look closely at Missouri’s relocation statute and try to follow what it says.
1. Send a letter to the other parent (type written is best) (ALWAYS KEEP A COPY).
2. By certified mail, return receipt requested.
3. 60 or more days before the date of your move.
4. Give your new address.
5. Your new phone number (if you’re getting one).
6. Some specific reasons for why you’re moving.
7. Describe any changes you want in the parenting plan.
8. If any of this information changes as the move gets closer, update the other parent.
If you are moving and you fail to take these steps, the Court can actually use the fact of your move without proper notice as a legally sufficient reason to change custody. While this probably happens less than half the time it is tried, it is not a risk worth taking. Following the relocation requirements is not that difficult. Losing custody of a child is.
Of course, the statute has nuances that are not included in the eight steps above. If you are planning to move, I recommend (a) reading the statute in full and (b) consulting with an experienced Family Law Attorney. If you are in or around Rolla, Missouri or Houston, Missouri, the Law Offices of Jaired B. Hall is here to help.