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Modifying your child custody agreement if you need to relocate

When a couple gets divorced, it is not unusual for one or both of the former spouses to want to move out of town or out of state for a new job or a fresh start as a newly single person. However, for divorced couples with children, it is generally not possible to just pack up and go, particularly for the parents with primary physical custody.

Many Texas divorce decrees and parenting plans place geographic restrictions on custodial parents to keep them within a certain area so that the child can remain in the school district or close to the non-custodial parent. In most situations, moving to a new house a few miles away is rarely an issue. If you want to move further away, you will need to file for a modification of your parenting plan and divorce decree.

A judge will need to approve custody modifications

If the non-custodial parent agrees to your relocation, you both will have to come up with a new agreement that ensures that the non-custodial parent will still have enough time with the child. If the parents do not agree, the parent seeking relocation will have file a motion to relocate. In either case, the court will need to review your case before deciding whether to approve the relocation.

The court will consider a number of factors when deciding whether to modify the terms of your divorce. Even if you are moving for the sake of a better paying job, that may not be enough for the court to approve the relocation. The court will mainly focus on whether the move will serve in the best interests of the child. For example, if the relocation gives the child an opportunity to attend a better school or spend more time with extended family, the court will be more likely to allow the move.

Relocating with your child after your divorce can be challenging, particularly if your ex does not support the move. A family law attorney in your area can help you with every step of the process.