How do I notify the court of my intended move with my son since I have remarried?
05/11/2007 - Category:Divorce - Child Custody - State: MO #4501
My current husband has joined the army and we are supposed to move to Louisiana. However, I have a son from a previous relationship and the divorce decree stated that I am not supposed to leave state of Missouri. What can I do and what help can I get to legally move with him?
When a custodial parent in a child custody proceeding requests a move-away order from the court allowing him/her to move a significant distance that would interfere with the non-custodial parent’s visitation and his/her contact with the children, this is commonly referred to as a move-away case. A move-away case is one of the most difficult cases for the family courts to hear, because the request by the custodial parent to move away with his/her children often has a negative impact on the frequent and continuous contact the children will have with the non-custodial parent. Some jurisdictions are permissive in how they rule on move-away cases, and other jurisdictions are more restrictive.States in which the statutory language and case law pertaining to move-away cases is more permissive may result in more permissive rulings. In such states, there may be a strong presumption that the parent that has primary physical custody of the children has the right to move away with the children, while the burden to prevent the move-away (by showing that the move-away is in bad faith or would be detrimental to the welfare of the children) rests squarely on the non-custodial parent. Further, states that are more permissive in move-away cases may not require the custodial parent to show that the move is expedient to the child’s welfare, or even necessary. In other words, if the move-away is good for the custodial parent, then the move-away is presumed to automatically be good for the children. The resulting high burden placed on the non-custodial parent to prevent the move-away has made such cases the perfect battleground for some custodial parents to alienate the non-custodial parent from his/her children. In other jurisdictions, the statutory language and case law pertaining to move-away cases may be more restrictive, placing a higher burden on the custodial parent seeking to move. That parent may have to demonstrate that the move-away is in good faith, necessary, expedient to the welfare of the children, and/or in the best interest of the children. In such states, rulings regarding move-away cases may result in more restrictive move-away decisions. Overall, move-away cases often have an all or nothing feel to them, especially for the non-custodial or left-behind parent. A move-away case can forever change a child’s relationship with the left-behind parent. A move-away case is not about whether the parent can move away; it concerns whether the parent can move away with his/her children. If you are seeking a move-away order or trying to prevent a move-away order, you would be wise to consult an attorney to find out if your jurisdiction is permissive or restrictive in ruling on these cases. In Stowe v. Spence, 41 S. W. 3d 468 (Mo. 2001), the Missouri Supreme Court set forth a three point test for determining if relocation of a child's principal residence will be allowed. (a) is relocation in the child's best interests; (b) is it made in good faith; and, if ordered, (c) does relocation follow the mandate of the statute (regarding change in parenting plan and what must be contemplated by the change in parenting plan).
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05/11/2007 - Category: Child Custody - State: MO #4501
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