Relocating with children after a divorce in TexasDOWNLOAD OUR ESSENTIAL DIVORCE GUIDE

Relocating with Children after Divorce in Texas

Leslie Barrows
 | Published: 
October 8, 2019
 | Category: 
Child Custody

Reasons People are Relocating with Children after Divorce

There are many reasons to move after a divorce. A new job opportunity for the primary parent can be a reason for relocating with children after divorce in Texas. However, the further the distance from the other parent with possession and access, the more likely you might end up litigating the move in court on a modification case. Attorney Leslie Barrows and the divorce lawyers at the Barrows Firm can answer all your questions and give you a case evaluation so you can learn your rights and options.

What does your divorce decree say about your right to make a relocation decision that affects a child? If you have exclusive and unlimited rights to establish the residence of the child, you can go where you please, so long as the other parent is okay with it. It is a good idea to do the math and figure out what added costs you both may incur in exchanging parenting time. Sometimes the parent moving further away from the new job contributes to the added financial burden to the other parent if the travel time and cost increase significantly.

Another reason people are relocating with children after divorce is a new marriage. When blending families your ex-spouse may have an opportunity to move into their new spouses’ home, which could be a distance away. This can be difficult if your decree restricts your right to establish residence to a certain county or limited distance from a certain point.

You may like this HuffPost article: 6 Things to Expect and Consider When Relocating with Children After Divorce

Motion to Modify: Filing for a Modification to Your Prior Order

Your divorce lawyer can file a motion to modify your prior order to allow you the right to relocate with children after divorce. Filing for a modification to your prior order creates a new suit in the court, a similar process to your original divorce or custody case. Even if you agree with the other parent about modifying parental rights and duties, you cannot modify your prior court order without filing the motion to modify.

Leslie Barrows at the Barrows Firm in Southlake can represent you and file your motion to modify your prior court order, regarding relocating with children after divorce. Attorney Barrows is an experienced divorce lawyer for modifications in Denton County and Tarrant County, Texas.

Child Custody Relocation Laws in Texas

In a Texas divorce and custody cases, parental rights and duties are assigned to parents as conservators and have possession and access rights and schedules. In the divorce decree stating the rights and duties of parents, one may have the exclusive and possibly unlimited right to establish the primary residence of the child. That person with unlimited exclusive rights may be able to relocate where they so choose, and it seems the other parent may not be able to say anything about it.

However, the parent who does not possess that exclusive right to establish the child’s residence can always file suit to ask the court to modify its order and either set restrictions or change the terms of the parents' respective rights and duties.

When issues affecting a child are at stake, the court can receive testimony and other evidence regarding the best interests of the child. Relocating with children after divorce in Texas, when it means modifying court orders, can come down to weighing all the best interest factors set forth in the Texas family code.

A child’s best interests win over an increase in pay, in other words, the child’s stable environment, contact with family and a thriving environment should not be upset unless there are significant circumstances.

Parental Relocation with Children in State or Out of State

A few issues come up when considering relocating with children after divorce, out of Texas, more than 100 miles, or in the next county. A trip from Southlake to Rockwall may be a burden to some, who otherwise might agree to travel to Oklahoma City to get their kids for their weekend, or whatever they have worked out. But what if the relocation is to California and you fear you are rarely going to be able to afford to exercise visitation time.

Psychology Today offers a useful article, Moving to a New Town: The Impact on Kids

Another recent trend we see is people moving to Texas from other states and both the primary parent and kids move, as well as the other parent. In these instances a suit can be filed with the Texas court in the county where the child’s residency is established, to give jurisdiction to the court here in Texas. The court that issues your divorce decree and parental rights and duties is the court of what is called original jurisdiction, over the parties and the child.

What to Consider When Deciding Whether to Relocate with Children after Divorce

You should consult with experienced child custody and divorce lawyers if you face opposition in relocating with children after divorce in Texas, and Leslie Barrows can help. You may be able to approach the other parent with an offer, in which everyone gets what they want and the children are happy and remain well adjusted. You might otherwise be faced with a suit where evidence is presented and witnesses testify, as the court weighs the standard best interest of the child factors to rule on whether there is a modification of the custody orders or restrictions added or lifted.

Psychological experts and evaluators can become involved in contested modification suits. A psych study can be focused on important elements of parents and any child affected by a relocation. If for example, your son or daughter has specific accommodation requirements with schools, medical, mental health, and related professionals and services. Divorce lawyers experienced in custody modification trials create client-tailored strategies to control litigation and get to the best result.

Divorce lawyers like Leslie Barrows will tell you what you are up against if you want to change or challenge your right or the other parent’s right to relocate. You should be prepared to weigh all the factors you would ask the court to consider when evaluating the costs and benefits of relocating with children after divorce. When you consult with your lawyer about child custody modifications you can better appreciate how to be prepared.

Child Custody Lawyer Leslie Barrows Can Help You with Relocating With Children After Divorce

Leslie Barrows is the founding divorce lawyer at the Barrows Firm. Leslie and her team of talented trial attorneys work with families in conflict over parenting and facing tough challenges when the best opportunities mean moving with children. Contact the Barrows Firm in Southlake, serving families in Tarrant County and Denton County and are available at (817) 481-1583.