What must I do if I plan to move and there is an existing child custody decree?

Kansas law requires any parent who has legal custody, residence, or parenting time with a child must give the other parent written notice at least 30 days before moving to a different address — whether inside or outside the state of Kansas. Kansas law also requires that a parent must give at least 30 days notice before taking the child outside Kansas for more than 90 days even if the parent does not plan on changing residence.

The 30-day notice must be sent by certified mail, marked “return receipt requested showing address where delivered” and “deliver to addressee only.”  If a parent moves or takes a child outside the state of Kansas for more than 90 days without giving the required notice to the other parent, the court may find that parent in “contempt of court.”

The purpose behind the required notice is to allow the non-moving parent to work out a different parenting plan with the moving parent, or to register the non-moving parent’s objection to the move. If the move is opposed by the other parent, the person seeking to move with the children may need to obtain permission from the Court. If a proposed move is opposed by the stay-behind parent, the court determines whether child may be moved out of the state by examining what result would best serve the child’s interests (not the parent’s interests) by considering the following factors, among others:

(1) The effect of the move on the best interests of the child;
(2) the effect of the move on any party having parenting time rights; and
(3) the increased cost the move will impose on any party having parenting time.

We provide a suggested form letter that you can use: Address Change Notification