Legal Question in Family Law in Missouri

Take child out of state

We have Joint custody. I have physical custody. I am 57 my daughter 10. Up until now my exwife has payed no child support(pending). Since we moved to USA and until the divorce my exwife(42)was the main provider for the family. I was selfemployed and took care of the house. I was the only provider for the family while we were living in Germany. I have been looking for work desperatly since the divorce but at my age I am not the ideal candidate. I have taken up contact to a business I worked for in Germany and they have offered me a job in Atlanta, GA. This is probably my last chance to get a job like this that will secure my daughter's life and education. I can work in an office instead of in constuction or as a door greeter at Wal Mart for minimum wages. I am getting older. My daughter is willing to go with me but my exwife wants to stand in the way and deprive us of a great chance. I told her the child can visit her as often as possible, holidays, vacation, etc. Can you help me? P.S. My daughter does not want to stay with her mother because she does not like the man she lives with.

Asked on 5/24/03, 11:14 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Michael R. Nack Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law

Re: Take child out of state

If you are already represented by legal counsel, you should obtain all of your legal advice from your own attorney. Your question states that the issue of child support is "pending" and thereby implies that there are some legal proceedings going on. Has either of you filed a Motion to Modify the original Judgment? If not, you must provide your ex-wife with the notice required by law including the specific information required by statute by certified mail return receipt requested. If you do so, and she does not respond within sixty days,the law allows you to relocate subject to her rights of visitation. In most cases the non-custodial parent will file a Motion to prevent you from relocating and then the legal battle will begin. Missouri statutes, specifically section 452.377 RSMo et. seq., set forth the factors a Court is supposed to consider in deciding whether relocating the child as you wish to do would be in the best interest of the child. In cases where the parents disagree, it can result in an extremely difficult and often expensive legal battle. There are no guarantees concerning the end results, and I can further advise you that the trial courts in Missouri seem to be ruling more and more against allowing the relocation where the non-custodial parent opposes it. Still, in many cases, it is possible to obtain the result you desire and even avoid lengthy and expensive litigation if you are willing, as you appear to be, to compensate the child's mother be extending visitation, extending periods of temporary custody, paying for the child's transportation and so forth. Of utmost importance in all of this is the best interest of the child. Does the child want to relocate with you? Will the child be in a safe and happy environment,enroll in a good school, have appropriate supervision while you at at work, have access to good health care, and so forth? The fact that you will be able to have a good job will normally not be enough by itself to win a contest for an Order allowing relocation. If you are not represented, and if you are in the Eastern half of the state, I have some considerable experience in these cases and I would be willing to give you a free telephone consultation. You may call me at 314-727-2822.

Otherwise, I would definitely advise you to hire someone with experience in similar matters. Good luck.

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Answered on 5/24/03, 2:47 pm

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