Where to file a motion to modify custody if the child has moved

Mens divorce lawyerQuestion:

I live in the same city where our original divorce judgment was filed. I want to file a motion to modify custody so I can have more parenting time with my son.

He lives in another city with his mother, but within the same state.

Should I file the modification where the original court orders were issued or where my child now lives?


In the state I practice in (Missouri), the appropriate jurisdiction to file a Motion to Modify is usually determined by one of three places:

  1. The county where the original custody action was filed;
  2. The county where the father resides; and
  3. The county where the mother resides.

Typically courts like to keep the file in the original county where the custody action took place. Therefore, based upon your facts, if your state’s law is similar to Missouri, then I would suspect you could file the Motion in the original city where you still live.

If your son’s mother objects to the venue or county where you filed the Motion to Modify, then she may try to remove the case to a different county.

Please understand that my opinions are based upon the limited facts that you provided to me. For a more in depth discussion of your legal rights in your jurisdiction, I urge you to contact a family law attorney immediately.

To set up an appointment with Michelle Hughes, an Associate Attorney in the Jefferson County, Missouri office, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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