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Houston Parental Relocation Lawyer

Harris County child relocation attorney

What Happens If I Want To Live In Another Place?

Divorce is a life-changing event. When you and your child's other parent divorce, you establish separate households. Most divorced parents initially live relatively near one another, but life changes. Maybe you got a better job in another geographic area, or you want to live closer to your family members. Or, you could just want to leave the area you used to reside in with your ex-spouse. Whatever your reason for moving to a new area, you will likely need to get permission from the court before taking your children with you.

The Cusic Law Firm, P.C. values a divorced parent's freedom to live where they choose, and we can help you take care of the legal side so that you can focus on helping your children adjust. We can also help with a variety of post-decree modifications or other legal parenting concerns, like child support. We know that when you and your ex-spouse have children in common, a divorce decree is rarely the end of your journey.

What Texas Law Says About Divorced or Separated Parents Relocating With Children

Whether you will need the court's permission to relocate with your children depends what your decree allows. If you are subject to a residency restriction, the child's primary residence must remain in that area.

Your ability to relocate also depends on where you are moving to and how far away it is from where the children live now. If you have been granted the exclusive right to determine where your children will reside, you may be able to move when necessary. However, there may be restrictions on the distance you can move from your current home.

If you are only moving a short distance, you may not need the court's permission - but you will need to provide your new address. If you are moving within the county you got divorced in, or to an adjacent county, you probably will not need a court order. However, if you are leaving Texas or going further than into the next county over, you will probably need to go to court.

Texas courts do not automatically approve parental relocation - they take several factors into careful consideration before agreeing to the move. If the other parent has joint custody or visitation rights, a move could cause the noncustodial parent to lose time with the children due to the difficulty of travel. Because the noncustodial parent is likely to be deprived of parenting time, Texas courts take this decision seriously.

The court considers a handful of factors, as it does when making other child custody decisions. Two of the major factors are:

  • Reason for Moving - The court will look into your motives for moving. If you have a strong reason for needing to move, like a better job offer or for safety reasons, your relocation is more likely to be approved. The court will want to ensure you are not deliberately taking the kids away from their other parent.
  • Effect on Children - How will the children adjust to the move? The court will want to know whether removing the children from their community and the other parent will cause emotional harm or damage to their relationship with the other parent. For example, if you are taking the children to live near family they already know in a place they are familiar with, this is more likely to be approved than if you are going to a brand new place. If the other parent rarely visits the children and has not been closely involved in their lives, you are more likely to get approved to move than you would be if the children are very close to their other parent and enjoy frequent visits.

The bottom line is that the courts want to see that there is a good reason for the move and that the move will be good for the children as well.

Call a Houston Parental Relocation Lawyer

If you are looking to relocate with your children, The Cusic Law Firm, P.C. can help. Our attorneys will bend over backward to help you move your children when doing so will benefit them and you. Contact us online or call 713-650-1866.

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