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Divorce & Family Law | Solutions that work for parents and children

Kansas City Parental Relocation Attorney

Moving Away With a Child

When a custodial parent wants to move, the parent must seek permission from the other parent and/or the court. He or she must also give advanced written notice of the relocation. Many people do not realize that distance is not a criterion — you must give notice whether moving across town or out of state. Failure to provide this notice has serious consequences, especially in Missouri.

For these reasons, and many others, custodial parental relocation is complicated; you need an experienced family lawyer to understand, prepare and argue your position. The attorneys of Larry Swall of Gates Shields Ferguson Swall Hammond P.A., have extensive experience with issues of child custody in relocation. Please call our office in Liberty, Missouri, at 866-554-4664 for an appointment.

How the Court Decides

It is up to the court to decide how to balance the child maintaining its relationship with both parents against the potential benefits of the relocation. The court's goal is to protect the best interests of children. If there is not sufficient evidence to support the idea that moving away will benefit the child, while simultaneously promoting the relationship with the other parent, the court is unlikely to allow it. It is possible to find positive outcomes from a move, which may include an improved economic situation, attending a better school, being closer to family or living in a healthier climate. Whatever is impacting your decision to move, you need to understand what the law requires of you and what options you have in your relocation.

Courts generally have a goal of maintaining a good relationship between the child and the non-relocating parent. If visitation or parenting time can be structured so that this is possible, and a move is in the best interests of a child, the court may allow the relocation.

Courts also consider any factor that effects the best interests of children when they decide whether a custodial parent may relocate with a child. One issue is the custodial parent's reason for moving. What a court may consider "good" often is different than what you may consider good. Our attorneys can help you analyze and understand your reasons for seeking relocation and help put those into terms that a court would consider serving the best interests of a child. We help prepare a case for presentation to the court to show what may or may not be in a child's best interests.

If a court does not believe a move is in the best interests of a child, it will deny the request, even if the parent continues with the move. You need to understand your rights, obligations and options.

Parents With Joint Physical Custody

For parents who share joint physical custody — with the child spending a lot of time with both parents — the court can treat the relocation request like an original custody decision. The court will try to decide which parent will best meet the child's needs.

You Need an Attorney for Relocation Matters

Please call us at 866-554-4664 or send us an e-mail. Your consultation is free. We help families in the Kansas City area.

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Firm Location

Larry Swall
Gates Shields Ferguson Swall Hammond P.A.

113 Blue Jay Drive
Suite 100
Liberty, Missouri 64068
Map & Directions

Phone: 913-416-9263  
Phone: 816-479-4491 
Toll Free: 866-554-4664
E-Mail the Firm

Awards and Accolades

Larry Swall
2009 Roger Krumm Family Law Practitioner of the Year

2009 Missouri Bar Association President’s Award

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