Given our increasingly mobile society, parental relocation is becoming a contentious issue both during and after a divorce or paternity suit. In most relocation cases, each party believes they will win big or lose big. Usually there is very little room to compromise with the other parent when a parent with primary residential custody wishes to relocate with the child. For this reason, most often relocation issues are decided by a judge in family law court rather than by negotiation. We have experience in representing both custodial and noncustodial parents in relocation disputes. A parental relocation case requires advanced planning and should never be taken lightly.
Typically, Texas child custody orders have a geographic restriction in place that prevents a parent with primary custody from moving out of the area with the child. If you are a parent with primary custody who wants to move, you must file a motion to modify the existing court order to lift that geographic restriction. Then is by the grace of negotiations and mediation that you can reach a mutual agreement or a Texas judge will decide the parental relocation issue.
Many factors are at issue in a relocation case such as: is it voluntary or involuntary, was it for a better job or is it simply to alienate a child from the noncustodial parent? If relocation is an issue, it is best to seek the advice of the best attorney that you can confer with to make your game plan. And, if you are served with papers to modify an existing court order for your child to relocate, you likely need to move quickly. These cases are all different and preparation is key.