Typically, people who have a child together will live close to one another to allow both parents to exercise their parental rights and facilitate custody exchanges. In some instances, though, one parent may wish to move to another location or state and take the child with them. Child relocation usually greatly impairs one party's conservatorship and visitation rights, and there are often grounds to contest relocation. If you wish to move with your child or are faced with the potential relocation of your co-parent, it is in your best interest to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. The seasoned Dallas child custody attorneys of McClure Law Group can aid you in taking the measures necessary to protect your rights, and we will fight tirelessly to help you seek a result that is beneficial to both you and your child.Reasons for Child Relocation
Generally, parents seek child relocation for personal or employment reasons. For example, a person may begin a relationship with someone who lives in another state or city or may wish to move closer to family members who live in another area. Many people seek to relocate due to job or education opportunities as well. In some instances, a parent may relocate to leave a bad situation, such as an abusive relationship or financial hardship caused by the cost-of-living of lack of employment prospects in city.Relocation in Cases Without an Existing Custody Order
Texas, unlike many states, does not have a specific law pertaining to the relocation of a child in a custody case; however, the public policy of the state is to award frequent and continuing contact with the child to both parents if doing so would be in the best interest of the child. In addition to the public policies of our state, numerous factors will determine whether a parent can move the primary residence of a child to a new location. If a parent seeks to relocate as part of an initial custody dispute, the court’s primary concern will be what is in the best interest of the child. In evaluating what arrangement will be beneficial for a child, the court will look at the child’s relationship with each parent, including which parent has historically been the primary caretaker of the child, the child’s emotional, physical, and mental health needs, and which parent is better able to provide for the child. If the court ultimately determines it would be favorable for a child to go with a parent who is moving, it will likely grant a request for relocation.Relocation in Cases With Existing Custody Orders
In cases in which there is an existing custody arrangement, regardless of whether it was developed via an agreement between the parents or dictated by an order, a court must determine which parent has the right to determine the child’s primary residence and whether the parent is bound by any geographic restrictions in determining where the child will live. If not, the parent will generally be permitted to move with the child.
If an existing order imposes geographic restrictions, however, or the parent who wishes to relocate with a child is not the conservator who has the right to determine the child’s primary residence, a modification will likely be necessary. As with any custody issue, the court will determine whether granting the modification is in the best interest of the child. The court must also evaluate whether the circumstances of either parent or the child have significantly and materially changed since the earlier order was issued or the agreement upon which an order was based was signed so as to warrant a modification.Meet With a Skillful Attorney in Dallas
People choose to relocate for a variety of reasons, but if they share custody of a child, what would otherwise be a straightforward move can become complicated. If you or your co-parent intend to move, it is important to meet with a lawyer to discuss your options. The skillful attorneys of McClure Law Group can advise you of your rights and help you to seek your desired outcome. Our primary office is located in Dallas, and we are also available for consultations at our Collin County office in Plano. We regularly represent people in custody matters in Dallas, Garland, Richardson, McKinney, Irving, Rockwall, Fort Worth, and Frisco. We also aid people with family law issues in cities throughout Dallas, Grayson, Tarrant, Denton, Collin, and Rockwall Counties. You can contact us via our online form or by calling 214.692.8200 to set up a meeting.