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What happens when the primary child custody holder needs to move?

While there are those who hope they never have to move, sometimes the need to relocate cannot be avoided. Life happens and one must simply do his or her best. What happens, though, if a primary child custody holder needs to move? According to the laws of Missouri, this is not something that he or she can do without the approval of the noncustodial parent or the court.

There are various reasons as to why one may need or want to relocate. A few of these include employment change, the need for familial support and a new relationship -- among others. While a parent's reason to move may seem perfectly valid in his or her mind, it can have a negative effect on his or her children. This is why approval must be granted before the move can take place.

The question at the heart of every child custody matter is: Does this serve the best interests of the child? Sometimes a move can be a good thing. It may put the child in a better school, closer to family and still allow him or her sufficient access to his or her noncustodial parent. If a custodial parent wants approval to relocate, he or she will need to provide evidence that the move will indeed place the child in a better situation. Of course, the noncustodial parent still has the right to object to the proposal.

Primary child custody holders who find themselves needing to move can help their cases by having plans in place before going to court to seek relocation approval. Details about the reason for the move, school information and potential custody and visitation changes should all be included in this plan. While getting court approval for a relocation will not prove to be an easy task, Missouri parents do not have to go through this fight alone. Legal counsel may be retained to help these individuals in their efforts.

Source:, "Child Custody Relocation Rules", Debrina Washington, Accessed on April 10, 2017

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