Austin Family Law Attorney
If you have primary custody of your children, you cannot move far away from your current place of residence without your ex-spouse's approval or a court order. The other parent's rights to shared custody or visitation can prevent you from relocating, and if you try to move without authorization it may turn into a contempt issue that could lead to legal penalties against you. When you have reason to move, come to Menduni Martindill, PLLC, where our Austin family lawyers can assist you with preparing a petition for the court. Whether you want to relocate for a better employment opportunity, to be closer to your family, or because you want to make a fresh start in a new area, we want to help you achieve your goal.
The court will review the facts of your modification request with attention on whether the proposed move will foster the children's well-being. State law generally prefers to involve both parents in the children's lives, and you need to make a strong argument for the benefits and necessity of the move. In addition to demonstrating why the children would be better off relocating, you may also be able to point to evidence that the other parent has not taken full advantage of the opportunity to spend time with the children.
Factors that the Court Considers
In all cases of divorce, child custody, and related matters, the courts will always act in the best interest of the child. The same is true for matters of parental relocation. A parent's relocation will only be approved by the court if it is believed that the children would benefit – or at least not be harmed – by the move. To make this determination, the following factors will be reviewed, assessed, and then used in the decision making process.
- The other parent's interest in remaining close to the child
- Prior connections to the new location (family, friends, previous residence)
- An alternative visitation schedule increasing time between the child and non-moving parent
- Your ability to pay the added travel expenses
- The benefits to the child, i.e. education, emotional, etc.
- The moving parent's commitment to continue fostering the relationship between the children and the non-moving parent
- The age of the child and the reason for the intended move
If you are the one considering relocating, you must give your ex-spouse 60 days' notice. Important topics that you both will need to agree upon are visitation and custody rights. If you are the parent being left behind, you should define your objectives and present these to the other parent, as well as to the court.
In cases of relocation, a lot depends upon the court. It can deny the relocation proposal, adjust child support or order the relocating parent to leave the children behind with the other parent. With so many decisions thrown in the balance and so much at stake, it is imperative to receive legal assistance to guide you through the entire relocation process.
What can Menduni Martindill, PLLC do for you?
If you are the not the primary parent, our firm can help you take action to attempt to prevent a relocation. Even if the court approves the relocation, Texas Family Code Chapter 153.015 provides an option for you to petition the court for electronic visitation rights, which could give you a set number of hours every week to visit with the children over the internet using video chat or other means. When you need an experienced divorce attorney on your side, we're here to help! Our lawyers specialize in family law and have dealt with a wide variety of cases extensively.
When you are trying to determine important issues such as relocation, there are few things more helpful than getting a reassuring, legal perspective behind you. Whether you are hoping to have your rights defended, as your ex prepares to move or whether you are hoping to receive permission to relocate, we can assist you. We know the ins and outs of a divorce case and have built up relationships with judges and court officials alike.
The worst thing you can do is to try to make a decision like this on your own and try to secure the outcome you want singlehandedly. With your childrens' lives and your happiness or potential job opportunities on the line, don't let the court or your ex jeopardize your future! Contact our firm today to discuss your options regarding relocating with children after the divorce.