Moving to a new residence

Relocation means a change in the principle residence of a child for a period of 90 days or more, but does not include a temporary absence from the principle residence (RSMO 452.377).

Written notice of a proposed relocation of the child or a person entitled to custody or visitation of the child must be given in writing by certified mail to all other persons with custody or visitation rights at least 60 days in advance. There is a continuing obligation to update relocation information when it becomes known.

The notice must include:

  1. Intended new address
  2. Home phone number at new residence, if known
  3. Date of intended move
  4. A brief statement of the specific reasons for the proposed relocation of the child
  5. A proposal for a revised parenting schedule

A parent may file a motion to prevent relocation within 30 days of receiving the notice. The person seeking to relocate has the burden of proving that the proposed relocation is made in good faith and in the best interest of the child. Failure to notify may be considered as grounds for contempt or a motion to modify custody or visitation with the child. Reasonable costs and attorney fees may be assessed by the court.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What if I am only moving a few streets away from my current residence?

A: The law (RSMO 452.377) applies to relocations regardless of distance.

Q: Do I need the court's permission to relocate?

A: Adults may move about at will. Whether a parent can relocate children subject to the jurisdiction of the court is a different matter. There are two ways for a parent to relocate with children who are subject of a court-ordered parenting plan.

  1. A non-court-ordered relocation, when parents mutually agree to the relocation and no motion to prohibit relocation is filed after receiving proper written notice of the proposed relocation.
  2. A court-ordered relocation, when a parent does properly object and the court then holds a hearing and decides whether or not to allow the relocation.

Relocation without consent of the court may be grounds for a modification of the parenting plan.