Parenting Plans & Relocations: Can I Relocate for Work with an Established Parenting Plan?

In News by YKF Law

Some adults stay with the same company their entire careers, whether local or national, while others switch companies and careers entirely. Whether you work in the corporate world, independently, hourly, or contractually, you’ve probably switched roles or companies at some point to advance your career.

Some promotions or changes in career means relocating to a different city or even state at one of the company’s other offices. Moving in-state or out-of-state is a big change that requires you to uproot your current life and start fresh in a new city. 

If you don’t have kids shared with an ex, relocating is overall easier. However, if you do have kids, there’s much to consider when relocating, including custody arrangements and parenting plans. Continue reading to learn all about parenting plans and relocations and if and how you can relocate for work.

What is a Parenting Plan?

A parenting plan is an essential part of the divorce process for couples who share children. It’s a legal document that will outline how you and your co-parent will raise your children, including the following:

  •  Legal custody details,
  • Physical custody details and schedules
  • Details about exchanges
  • School and extracurriculars
  • Expenses
  • Holidays and summer vacations

Other details may be included in a parenting plan specific to each unique case. Both parties must agree on every detail in the parenting plan before it gets filed and accepted by the court.

The goal of a parenting plan is to have a document outlining how to raise your children, share your time, and other details that are fair to both parents. Your family law attorney will help guide you through the divorce and custody process, including the parenting plan.

What do I do if I Get the Job?

A parenting plan includes details about custody arrangements, including a schedule that outlines when the children will be with each parent on weekdays, weekends, vacations, and holidays. A parenting plan is created with the assumption that both parties will live somewhat near each other, with detailed information about exchanges.

However, things happen, and sometimes people must move across the state or country for work or other personal reasons. Relocating for a new job isn’t as easy as before you had children; your parenting plan will need adjusting and needs to be accepted by the court before any custody changes occur. Below are some things that will need to happen before you move:

Notify Your Co-parent

If you have accepted a new job in a new city in Missouri or an entirely different state, you must notify your co-parent immediately. Missouri has strict relocation statutes that outline requirements that must be met before the relocating parent moves. The first is to notify your co-parent of the intended relocation 60 days before the move. 

Notify Your Family Law Attorney

A relocation notice needs to include specific information about the move, which can make the process a little more difficult especially if you and your co-parent have a strained relationship. Notifying your family law attorney who represented you during your divorce and custody cases can help guide you in the right direction for starting the relocating process.

Send a Valid Written Notice

Whether you choose to send a written notice with or without the help and guidance of your family law attorney, you’re required by Missouri courts to send a valid written notice to your co-parent. This notice must include specific information regarding the move, including the address of your intended new home your child will live in, details about the move, including the date, and revised custody arrangements.

What Happens Next?

Once the relocating parent has submitted a notice to the other parent, they can agree or disagree with the relocation and proposed custody arrangements. Below are details about each scenario and what happens as a result:

If the Other Party Agrees

If they agree on all details in the notice, including the move and revised custody arrangements in the parenting plan, the new agreement must be submitted to the court for approval. The court may approve the revised parenting plan and custody arrangements or schedule a hearing. If the court decides the move is in the best interest of the child and thinks the new custody arrangements are fair, they will most likely approve the new agreement.

If the Other Party Disagrees

The nonrelocating parent might not agree with the relocating parent’s notice. Perhaps they aren’t happy about the distance, their child’s potential new residence, or details about the newly proposed exchanges and custody arrangements. If the other party doesn’t agree, they can file a motion objecting to the relocation with the court stating why they object to the move within 30 days of receiving the notice.

Missouri law requires the relocating parent to respond to the motion within 14 days with a counter-affidavit with details that support their relocation, including newly proposed custody arrangements. The non-relocating parent has 30 days to file the motion objecting to the relocating. If they fail to do so within 30 days, the court may approve the move without their objections. 

Ultimately, the judge will give a final decision on whether or not the move is in the best interest of the child and whether or not they approve or deny the relocation.

Relocating with an existing parenting plan can be difficult, but it doesn’t need to be with the help of dedicated and zealous family law lawyers. If you need help modifying an existing parenting plan, or child custody, the Law Office of Young, Kuhl & Frick, LLC can help. We’re dedicated to the practice of family law and can help guide you through the entire process. Our office is in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. In addition to our physical location, our firm’s family and divorce attorneys have practiced in Jackson, Clay, Cass, Lafayette, and Platte County, Missouri. Contact our family law firm today to schedule a consultation – we can meet in person or via Zoom.

With over fifty-three years of combined legal experience, our family law firm is comprised of a team skilled in negotiation and litigation, handling family law matters from the most complex to the most straightforward. Our zealous team of attorneys will handle your case with expert knowledge and professionalism.