Parent Relocation
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Relocation Is A Complex Issue. You Need A Lawyer’s Help.

Even after your divorce has been finalized, there will inevitably be divorce-related difficulties in your life for years to come. One of these challenges is relocation. When a divorced parent wants to move, a court will examine how the move may affect the child’s best interests.

Williamson Law Firm is the reliable, seasoned family law firm trusted by parents in the Dallas area and across North Texas for more than a quarter of a century. We are committed to helping our clients resolve legal challenges, including relocation, after the divorce is final.

Why Do I Need A Custody Order Modification?

A parent relocation case happens when a parent who is a primary caregiver wants or needs to move away far enough to change the court-ordered joint custody arrangement. However, without consent for the move from the child’s other parent, a legal clash could emerge.

Relocation almost certainly will require a modification to the court-ordered custody and visitation arrangements. The parent will actually have to be granted the court’s permission to relocate. It does not matter how far a parent is moving — if the move affects the court-ordered custody and visitation arrangements, a modification is necessary.

Can A Move-Away Request Be Denied In The State Of Texas?

You might be surprised to learn that a Texas court may deny a parent’s move-away request. Of course, the court cannot stop an adult from moving, but the court can stop a custodial parent from taking the child or children along. The law in our state requires the best interests of the child to be “the primary consideration of the court,” so any parent requesting a move away will have to prove that the move is in the child’s best interests.

Sometimes, when a custodial parent desires to relocate with a child or children, the other parent may ask for a change of the custody order and seek to obtain custody of the child or children. If the reason for moving is work-related, a Texas court will certainly be sympathetic to the parent making the request, but if the parent who wants to move has physical custody and the other parent does not approve the move, the request has the potential to be rejected by the court. A Texas court will not place even a parent’s career above the best interests of a child.

What Are The Factors For Modification?

When a Texas court hears a move-away request, it considers the details of each specific case, so each case is determined on its own merits. Courts must have substantive reasons for denying any move-away requests, so the noncustodial parent must show the court that the move would be detrimental to the child’s best long-term interests.

The court will consider the following questions when a parent requests a change in domicile restrictions for relocation:

  1. Will the move impair the visitation rights of the nonmoving parent?
  2. Will the child be able to continue a full relationship with the nonmoving parent?
  3. How will the move impact the child’s other family relationships?
  4. How will the move affect the child economically, emotionally and educationally?
  5. Does the moving parent have motives based on bad faith? In other words, is putting more distance between the two parents a primary motive behind the relocation request?

You Can Turn To Us For Legal Help With Relocation

At Williamson Law Firm, justice for our clients and their children is our top priority. We will almost certainly find a way to help you maintain your relationship with your child. To schedule a consultation, call us at 469-385-3305 or send our law firm an email.