Relocation Case Attorneys, Houston TX
Modern life often requires relocation of parents – whether it is moving for work or perhaps to care for a sick parent.
Difficulties in Relocating With Children
First, if there are already orders from the court, then it's important to know whether or not there are any geographical restrictions in place. Usually, Texas orders will place a geographic restriction for the county and surrounding counties, which prevents the parent who has primary custody from relocating outside that region. Sometimes, the restriction is the State of Texas, and sometimes there is no geographic restriction at all. It really depends on what the parties previously agreed to, or what the court orders.
If the parties cannot agree on the restriction, then it is likely a court will create some boundaries. Therefore, if you are a parent who historically has had to relocate for work, this might be an important aspect for you to consider including in any divorce or custody paperwork.
Proving Your Case
There is no clear statute on point listing out the factors a court will look at when determining a relocation modification. However, previous cases have shown judges looking at some of the following when considering the issue:
- The distance between the parties after a relocation
- The proximity, availability, and safety of travel arrangements between the parties
- The quality of the relationship between the non-primary conservator and the child
- The nature and quantity of the child’s contacts with the nonprimary conservator
- The possibility that the relocation will deprive the nonprimary conservator of regular and meaningful access to the child
- The motive for relocating or opposing the relocation
- The ability of the relationship between the parent and child to be preserved and suitable visitation arrangements.
This is not an exhaustive list, but even things like availability of the child’s friends, the primary conservator’s improved financial or job situation, and the choice of the child to relocate will all be considered by the court in determining whether or not relocation should be allowed. Many of these factors will require the opinion of an expert. A qualified psychologist should be consulted and asked to speak to the child to determine the effect relocation would have.
Travel Outside of the State Temporarily
Relocation cases are completely different from a parent traveling outside the state or country. Generally speaking, the parents are free to travel whenever they are in possession of the child during their designated times. Sometimes, travel restrictions can be put into place. There can also be provisions included which require parents to exchange information on travel, such as itineraries, where the parties will be staying, and contact information throughout the trip.
We Can Help
Proving a relocation case is not easy. The reasons for moving must be compelling and ultimately found to be within the child’s best interest. Our team is prepared to help build a case to present to the judge and your ex-spouse that relocation with the child will be a positive experience for the child. Additionally, if you are in the middle of a divorce and know that relocation is a strong possibility in the future, we can help you address this issue in advance of the case being finalized.