What to know about relocation and divorce

what to know about relocation and divorceFor a growing number of parents, the decision for one parent to move is a highly-contested issue. Often a parent with primary custody wants to move because of work, family or issue reasons. When a parent with primary custody seeks to move to another city with the children, there is very little middle ground. For this reason you need an attorney with experience litigating these cases.   Our attorneys have experience trying and winning before Austin and Williamson County judges. We also have great success in achieving our clients’ goals through creative and skillful negotiation, without having to resort to expensive and protracted litigation. The difference between a big move and the imposition of a geographic restriction can be the attorney you select, so contact us…

Texas relocation laws

When initially deciding custody, the court typically grants one parent the right to designate the primary residence of the child. In Williamson and Travis Counties, judges tend to restrict the residence to the county of residence and the neighboring (or contiguous) counties.

If the parent with the right to designate the residence later wants to move outside the geographic region, he or she needs to petition the court for a modification. In determining whether to allow the move, the court will consider such factors as:

  • Presence of child’s friends and extended family members
  • Relative financial circumstances
  • The impact on parents’ emotional and mental states
  • Ability of both parents to have meaningful contact with the child
  • Parents’ abilities to relocate
  • The parents’ reasons for and against the move
  • Locations’ abilities to accommodate the child’s special needs or talents
  • Comparison of education, health and leisure opportunities.
  • The negative impact that hostility between the parents can have on the child
  • The child’s age, community ties and preferences

The broad discretion that a court has in applying these factors make it hard for a parent to gauge whether a court will allow a parent to move away with a child. For this reason, relocation issues are often decided by a judge in family law court rather than by negotiation.

Contact us for any other questions you may have.