Getting through a divorce can be difficult for the parties and their kids. Once a Texas family is split and the divorce of the parents is complete, everyone involved may look forward to moving on in their lives and establishing their new routines. While the children may embrace the stability of staying in their normal communities, attending their normal schools, and going to their normal activities, their parents may look for opportunities to experience change.
After a divorce, it is not unusual for one of the parents to eventually consider moving out of the home community where their children live. They may choose to move for a new job opportunity, or they may decide that a move for a new partner is in their best interest. If they have minor children, however, their move may have drastic impacts on their custodial rights.
Moving as a divorced parent can be difficult, but those facing this challenge can work through their concerns with the help of family law attorneys. This post will address some of the considerations that parents may make before contemplating their moves, but readers should not use the information contained herein as legal advice.
1. What are my custodial rights?
Depending on how parents’ agreed or had their custodial rights ordered by a judge, they may have joint rights to have their kids live with them or may have visitation rights if their ex has the sole physical custodial right to their children. If a parent does not have the right to have their child live with them, they may not be able to stop the custodial parent from moving with their kids. If parents share custodial powers, then they may have to negotiate or litigate their differences.
2. What impact will a move have on the kids?
In almost all child custody cases, courts seek to preserve the best interests of the children through careful decisions about where they will live and who will have authority over them. For some families, a post-divorce move involving children may be a good idea to help the kids establish a new life. For others, uprooting kids during a sensitive time may be a troublesome choice for their overall well-being. How children will be impacted by a move is an important factor that parents and courts must evaluate when considering relocation.
3. How will visitation change if a move is undertaken?
Parents who do not have custodial rights to be with their kids may rely on visitation to spend quality time with their sons and daughters. If a custodial parent moves with their kids, a noncustodial parent may lose precious time with the children that they love. Before a move is agreed to, it is important that custodial and noncustodial parents understand the impact that the move will have on their visitation options.
There is so much more that parents should consider before they initiate a move with or without their children. Family law and divorce attorneys are excellent resources for parents facing this difficult situation. Lawyers who work with transitioning families can help them understand the may aspects of their divorces, separations, and custodial options based on their clients’ unique circumstances.