What Parents Need to Know About Child Custody and Relocation

For one reason or another, circumstances may arise that cause you to want or need to move. Although this is a pretty common experience, it can be more complicated when a child custody matter is involved. Whether you are the custodial or non-custodial parent, you need to understand your rights and obligations concerning relocation.

The Friendswood, TX child custody attorneys of Hannah Law, PC are here to guide you. Reach out to our team today at 281-262-1311 to get started.

Can a Parent Relocate Within Texas?

You may need to move to another city in Texas to take a new job, further your education, or care for loved ones. If you’re the parent of a child, you might be wondering how the move affects custody. As a general rule, moving within the state of Texas does not present an issue in most cases.

However, there are two considerations a parent must make before moving.

1. Is the move in the child’s best interests?

In other words, will the move advance the child’s well-being, or at least not harm it? Consider whether the move could be detrimental to the child. For instance, are you thinking about moving from a safe area to a bad neighborhood?

2. Will the move affect the other parent’s rights and duties?

Your goal, in moving, should be to maintain the status quo insofar as custody is concerned. But if, by moving, you are making it difficult for the other parent to see the child, this presents a problem. If you are moving so far away that it disrupts the existing custody order, a new order will be needed.

Moving and Child Custody Concept

Can a Parent Move Out of State?

If you are planning to move out of state, then you will also need a new custody order. For cases like this (or where the parent is moving a considerable distance within the state), the judge may evaluate:

  • The impact of the move on the child’s best interests
  • Whether legitimate reasons exist for uprooting the child
  • Whether the move could harm the child’s relationship with the other parent
  • The parent’s motivation for moving
  • Whether the move is necessary for the parent or simply desired

The court will consider these factors together and review the overall circumstances of the proposed move. Regardless, you should retain a Friendswood, TX child custody attorney.

How to Make the Move Happen

If you or the other parent are contemplating a move, the first step you should take is to discuss it with your attorney. Your lawyer can give you advice about how the relocation might impact the existing custody arrangement. Your attorney can then discuss the situation with the other parent and their lawyer.

If both parents agree to the move, it can take place but may require updates to the order. For instance, adjustments in the parenting schedule may be needed to protect both parents’ access to the child. However, if the parents do not agree to the move, then court action will be needed. The judge will consider the evidence and arguments from both parents and then make a decision.

Trust Hannah Law For Your Child Custody Needs

Regardless of whether you are the parent moving or the one staying in place, you need dedicated legal counsel. We can assist with all aspects of your custody and relocation matter. This includes modifying your prior order and attending court to support or oppose the move.

The Friendswood, TX family law attorneys of Hannah Law, PC are here to guide you. Reach out to our team today at 281-262-1311 to get started.

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