How Moving Affects Modifications

By William Halaz

Attorney, Cordell & Cordell

Significant changes in one parent’s residence location brings up a whole new set of modification issues.

If you are the parent staying in their current location, you will want to focus on the areas of stability and connections to help convince the court that it is in your child’s best interest to remain with you.

Each state has its own laws regarding what factors they will look at to determine what is in the child’s best interest, but many will look to familial ties, ties to the community, how long the child has lived in the area, the child’s school district, and the ability of the parent remaining to be primary custodian.

If a parent is moving a substantial distance out of state, it is obvious there will be a substantial and continuing change in circumstances.

You must show it is in your child’s best interest to remain where he or she is currently located. The more ties to the local community, the more likely the court will want them to remain where they are. You will also want to emphasize the stability that comes with staying in their present location.

On the flip side of that coin, if you are the primary custodian who is moving and want to take your child with you, you will need to show that the child’s connections consist mostly of superficial connections that can be made at any location.

Further, you will need to emphasize anything from your divorce decree that show why the child was placed primarily with you in the first place.

You will also need to show that your move is not merely an effort to lessen the time spent with the child’s other parent, but is necessary for you to obtain a better job, take care of a loved one, etc.

While this article addresses some of the issues that arise when preparing for a modification proceeding, you may have additional questions regarding your own specific situation. You should contact an attorney in your area immediately if you need additional information or legal representation, as most parties in modification actions do.

Cordell & Cordell has men’s divorce lawyers located nationwide.

Read all the parts of this series on divorce modification:


Attorney William HalazWilliam Halaz is a Staff Attorney in the Arnold, Missouri office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. Mr. Halaz is licensed to practice in the state of Missouri. Mr. Halaz received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Southeast Missouri State University. Then continuing his education, received his Juris Doctor from St. Louis University’s School of Law.

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