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Relocating with children after divorce is not easy

After your divorce was finalized, you may have tried to make the best of living in Texas. Certainly, you didn't want to disrupt your children's lives any more than necessary since the divorce had already shaken them. Now, they are beginning to adjust to the custody agreement, but you are struggling.

If you are considering the possibility of moving out of Texas, or even to another part of the state, you should know that relocation is not an easy process. Even if you have full custody and your ex has only visitation rights, the courts will be reluctant to allow you to take the children away from their other parent.

Where are you going?

There are many reasons why divorced parents decide to relocate. You may have found a better job, want to move closer to your family or want to break free from the pain of your marriage and divorce. Perhaps you have met someone new who intends to relocate, and you want to move with him or her and start a new life. Whatever your reasons, you will have to convince the court that the move is in the best interests of your children, for example:

  • Will the child's educational experiences improve?
  • Will the child have better opportunities for recreation and extracurricular activities?
  • Will the child have a more financially stable environment?
  • How does your child feel about the move?
  • Will your child still be able to visit their other parent on a regular basis?

It is likely to be very important to the court that your move will not damage your children's relationship with your former spouse, and if you can demonstrate that you are not leaving simply to keep the kids away from their other parent, your chances of winning court approval may improve.

Preparing your case

One action that family law experts universally discourage is to simply pack up and leave without involving the courts or allowing your ex-spouse the opportunity to dispute your relocation. This could have serious implications for your parental rights. In fact, the most advantageous step to notify your ex-spouse as soon as possible of your intent to move. While this allows your ex time to contest your plans, it also demonstrates your good faith.

As you prepare to make your request to the court, assume the court has already decided against your move. In other words, the burden of proof will be on you to convince the judge that relocating with your children is the best thing for them. This is not an easy task, and you may have better success with the assistance of a legal professional who has experience with Texas family courts and understands ever-changing custody laws.

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