Even after your divorce in St. Charles, you likely will want to maintain a strong relationship with your children. That automatically becomes more difficult given the increased space that now exists between you. What if your ex-spouse wants to increase that space by moving away with the kids? Adhering to your custody agreement suddenly becomes much more difficult if your ex relocates, or even impossible if he or she does it without notifying you. The question is can he or she do that?
Family courts in Missouri recognize the need for kids to have strong bonds with both their parents when that is possible. Thus, laws have been enacted that deal specifically with the issue of parental relocation. They can be found in Section 452.377 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri. They stipulate that if your ex-spouse wants to move, he or she must notify you of that intention at least 60 days prior to it happening. That notice must include:
- His or her relocation destination, with at least the city and state listed if a specific address is not yet known
- The date he or she intends to move
- A statement detailing why he or she believes the children should relocate with him or her
- A proposed revised visitation schedule
If he or she knows the telephone number of the residence he or she will be relocating to, that must also be included.
What if he or she simply moves without notifying you at all? The court can order that the children be returned to your custody while it reviews the matter. The fact that your ex-spouse did not follow the proper processes in relocating with the kids will also be taken into account when the court evaluates your custody situation.