When parents in Harris County divorce, a child custody order will be put into place that allows the child to have a meaningful relationship with each parent. As time marches on, however, one parent or the other may find that the original child custody order is no longer feasible. This may be especially true if the custodial parent wants to relocate to a different part of the state or country. After all, sometimes a person is presented with a great job opportunity or wants to live closer to family, necessitating a move. However, often, their child custody order will have restrictions on how far away the custodial parent can live from the child's other parent. Does this mean that a custodial parent cannot relocate beyond those geographic limits?
To relocate to an area beyond the geographic locations allowed in the original child custody order, the custodial parent will need to demonstrate that doing so serves the child's best interests. In general, the burden of proving this lies with the parent who wants to relocate. Since the goal of any child custody arrangement is to provide the child with stability and allow the child to have a meaningful relationship with each parent, sometimes if a custodial parent wants to relocate more than 100 miles from the other parent, then "long distance visitation" guidelines kick in. This means that the noncustodial parent will be given additional visitation time, for example, while the child is off school for spring break or during the summertime.
At our law firm, we understand that life is not static. It is ever-evolving, meaning that orders put in place in the initial divorce proceedings may not always serve the parties' needs later on in life. We help parents who want to relocate and those who oppose a relocation after divorce develop a solid case, so that an appropriate result can be reached. We also understand that oftentimes the most satisfactory solution to a relocation is one that has been negotiated by the parents out of court. This is where our experience both in civil trial law and family law comes in handy.
Parents may have a good reason for wanting to move years after their divorce has been finalized, but any child custody modifications must be done with the best interests of the child in mind. To learn more about parental relocation in Texas, you can visit our website.