Ballwin, MO asked in Child Custody for Missouri

Q: Father moved out of state almost 4 years ago...child, 16, now states he want to move too.

Father moved out of state (800+ miles);didn't notify per statute as he stated he was not relocating child's residence;we have joint legal and physical custody. Filed a motion stating substantial change in circumstance due to his relocation and he can no longer exercise EOW and 1 day/wk visits & should be compensated for that lost time. Motion does not provide proposed new plan.

Child has half-siblings & nephews (within local area); grandparents, aunts/uncles and 1st cousins within a day's drive of home location. Child has lived in same residence since he was 3;does very well in school (3.8 GPA);has friends in the community/school. Father has had 5 addresses in 3 school districts since moving. Mother has not denied visitation during the school year or summer and child has been able to see Father on 3-4 day weekends; Thanksgiving; most of Winter break; every Spring Break and 2/3 of summer. Does anyone have experience with MO 8 factor test and the wishes of the child?

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1 Lawyer Answer

Jennifer L. Rench

Answered
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Licensed in Missouri

A: As an attorney, I think there are lots of questions I would ask you before being able to really get an opinion. But before you jump into analyzing the custody factors, in a motion to modify you have to start with whether or not he can get his foot in the door - so to speak. The "8 factor test" refers to the 8 factors the court must consider when determining custody of a child found in 452.375 RSMo. But once custody is determined (as in your case), then the parent asking for a change must first show that he or she is entitled to a modification under 452.410 RSMo.

To start, you said that Father filed a motion to modify stating he should be compensation for lost time. What are the current arrangements and what is he asking for - specifically? In a motion to modify, the analysis of whether or not he is entitled to ask for a change would be very different depending on whether you currently had joint physical custody or if you had sole physical custody, and if he is asking to change from sole to joint or if he is just asking to change the schedule.

Your question sounds like he is asking for a bit more than just a bit of make up time, but without knowing the answers to the questions above (and more that I would probably ask after finding out the answers to the above), it would be difficult to give an opinion given only this information.

All the best! If you are in the St. Louis area, feel free to contact me.

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