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What You Need to Know About Missouri's Relocation Statute

In Missouri, if a parent intends to relocate a child's principal residence for 90 days or more, they must notify the child's other parent and do so at least 60 days prior to the date the relocation is set to occur. Missouri's relocation laws are detailed in § 452.377 of the Missouri Revised Statutes.

The Notice of Proposed Relocation

The parent that wishes to relocate the child away from the child's other parent provided the other parent is entitled to custody or visitation, must send notice of the proposed relocation in writing by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the other parent. By statute, the notice must include the following pieces of information:

  1. Home and mailing address of the proposed new residence, if known (or at a minimum, the city you intend to relocate to);
  2. New home telephone number;
  3. The date on which the proposed move will take place;
  4. Brief explanation of the reason behind the relocation; and
  5. Proposed amendments to the current child custody or visitation agreement.

The relocating parent is required to list as much information as they know. In some cases, things like new home phone number are not yet available or a revised custody agreement is not applicable.

What happens when notice is not given?

The court takes into consideration a parent's failure to provide notice of relocation. Failure to provide notice can play a role in the court's decision to modify the current custody or visitation agreement. The court may also order the parent to return the child or order the parent to pay various expenses that the objecting parent incurred.

Can relocations be prevented?

If the non-relocating parent objects to the notice of relocation, that parent must file a motion to stop the relocation. Once the non-relocating parent receives the notice of relocation ( to be received a minimum of 60 days before the intended move), the non-relocating parent has 30 days to file a motion with the court. Objecting parents must include the reasons why they object to the relocation in their motion. The onus is on the relocating parent to show the court why a relocation request should be granted. Once a motion is filed by the objecting parent, the relocating parent has two weeks (14 days) to respond.

Contacting a St. Louis Divorce Attorney

Whether you wish to relocate or you would like to file a motion objecting to a relocation, the St. Louis divorce lawyers at The Buxner Law Firm are here for you. We invite you to contact us today to learn more about our services and how we could help you with your relocation case.

Free, in-office consultations available. Call (314) 888-5235.