Platte City, Missouri, Lawyer For Relocation Petitions

Sometimes, the parent with custody or significant parenting time needs to move to a geographic area where the other parent would have difficulty visiting the children. This could be due to family reasons, a better school district, or job relocation. Regardless of the circumstances, there are detailed and specific steps in Missouri a parent must follow in order to relocate without the risk of losing custody. These steps include giving the other parent proper notice and may ultimately require filing a motion to relocate where a court will decide whether the relocation will be allowed, and under what terms. There is important information regarding relocation motions that everyone should be aware of because these factors will be considered by the court.

My Service Area
I represent clients in relocation petitions and defense in Clay County and Platte County in the Northland region, as well as Jackson County in both Kansas City and Independence, Missouri.

Relocation Defense

Likewise, when notified of a potential move, the remaining parent must take specific steps to contest relocation. These steps include filing an Objection to Relocation and Motion to Modify where a court will decide if relocation is allowed and any modifications to the parenting plan. Often the remaining parent can make a good argument that it is in the best interest of the children to not relocate. Existing relationships with friends, family, school, sports and the bond with the remaining parent are all factors to consider.  If a remaining parent fails to file an Objection to Relocation in a timely manner after receiving a notice of relocation, that parent may waive his or her right to object later.

A Platte City Lawyer Who Cares About Getting Things Handled Sensibly

Relocation motions and defenses are challenging and require the assistance of qualified legal counsel. I always strive to place the needs of the clients first. Instead of focusing on hours, I strive to make sure that every case I take is handled in a just manner. 

As a Missouri family law attorney, I have been serving the Northland communities in the Kansas City Metro Area since 1980. Over the decades, I have handled many  relocation motions and defenses successfully, sometimes through trial, but outside of the courtroom whenever possible. I provide all of my clients with reasonable solutions in a cost-effective, sensible manner. 

Factors The Missouri Courts Take Into Consideration

One of the factors the courts will consider is the distance of the move. The farther the move, the less likely the court is to approve the move. Sometimes the geographic circumstances are not up for debate, but people should still be aware that distance will play a role. If possible, consider the location before agreeing to a move.

Other factors relate to the advantages and disadvantages of a move for the children. Will the move provide a better standard of living and opportunity for the children? Will it put them closer to extended family members? Or will the move take them away from their friends, sports? The court will also consider how cooperative the parents have been regarding visitation rights. If the parents have been reasonable when it comes to arranging visits for each other, this is going to increase the chances that the court will approve the relocation petition. While divorce is an ugly process, try to cooperate with the other parent. This will make it easier on the children and the courts.

One question that is always important is “What parenting time provisions are proposed if the relocation occurs? Missouri custody law places a high value on each parent having frequent and meaningful contact with the children. So it is always wise to creatively find a way to give significant parenting time to the remaining parent. The amount of time each parent spend with the child prior to the relocation is significant to a court when deciding relocation. If the parents presently divide parenting time 50/50, it will be much harder to relocate if that 50/50 time is disrupted. On the other hand, if one parent only sees the children sporadically, it is more likely that a court will allow relocation if appropriate compensatory time is proposed.

The courts ultimately consider the well-being of the child. If the move is going to hurt the child’s well-being, the court will not approve the relocation petition. The moving parent should be prepared to demonstrate how the move will benefit the child instead of moving to spite the other parent. Otherwise, the court will not approve the move.

Negotiated, Common-Sense Solutions
Both parents will have equal rights in a motion to relocate with a custodial child. Emotions often take control, however, and a dispute that can often be negotiated to a fair outcome turns into costly and unnecessary courtroom litigation. I will work with you to try to find a creative solution that works for all parties, including your child.

Contact Me For Answers

For someone who cares about the issues, contact my office today for assistance with — or against — a relocation motion. My phone number is 816-471-7722 or I can be reached by email.