Long-Distance Custody

Question:

This question is about long distance custody were Missouri is the state the divorce is filed (not completed yet). I had made arrangements with my ex for me to move away and we would share custody every 5 weeks. She agreed and signed the papers and then before the judge could see them changed her mind. We also exercised the agreement for 3 months and I am now in another state and can not move back unless I want to be homeless and jobless. I am currently heading down a road of nasty court battles and want to try and ask for relocation of my 2 year old son to my state. I have that she has continued to keep me away from him and will not communicate with me. as well as a few other things.

 

 

Answer:

A settlement agreement is not a final or enforceable action until signed off by the court fact that on a temporary basis.  The fact that you followed a schedule, and it was working should be a positive factor with the court to continue that schedule.

However, the fact that you relocated is a negative with the court as one of the eight factors judges look at in Missouri’s custody statute is relocation of the child.  This is offset to some extent in that your wife has denied you custody time.  One of the factors in the statute is which parent is more likely to provide custody and visitation to the other parent.

If you’re being denied access to your child.  You should consider filing for a temporary visitation schedule (Pentente Lite Order usually referred to as a PDL).  If there is a PDL order in place, you should consider filing for a family access motion.

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