Divorce represents the end of your marriage and a journey toward a new beginning. It is no wonder that many of the newly divorced consider relocating. Perhaps you want to move for financial reasons – for greater employment opportunities – or to be closer to the built-in support that comes from living near family. There are plenty of solid reasons for wanting to relocate after divorce, but if your divorce involves shared children, you might be facing legal constraints in relation to your move. If you are considering a post-divorce relocation, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced Belton divorce attorney today.
The Court’s Stance
The court rules in favor of the children’s best interests in every case involving child custody, and as such – barring mitigating circumstances – they remain committed to both parents spending a significant amount of time with their shared children. This generally means that both parents have the right to remain involved in making the big decisions that affect their children’s well-being and development, which includes determining where the children will live. Usually, the court’s initial custody orders prohibit the primary custodial parent (the parent with whom the children live the majority of the time) from moving outside of a predetermined geographic area. In other words, you will need to take the matter of your relocation up with the court before you can move out of state with your children.
If you can work out a mutually agreeable arrangement with your ex – whereby he or she can continue seeing your shared children on a regular basis, the court will almost certainly sign off on this move-related modification. If, however, your ex is not on board (which is more often the case), you will have some convincing to do. While it is not impossible to move the court to allow for a relocation, you will need a compelling reason for them to do so. Again, the court will weigh your proposed move against the best interests of your children in making its decision.
Your Compelling Reason for Relocating
Some of the most common reasons that compel Texas courts to allow relocations with the children after divorce include:
Increased financial support for the children (based on you obtaining a better-paying job)
Better educational opportunities for your children
A better housing opportunity for your children
Closer proximity to increased support from family members and community
Your children’s other parent’s failure to exercise regularly scheduled possession
The court will take wide-ranging considerations into account in making this important decision, and you are well-advised to have professional legal counsel on your side.