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Moving a child after divorce requires consideration

The issues of child custody and relocation of dependent minors are among the most sensitive faced by a divorcing couple in Texas. As such, it is not uncommon for custody conflicts to require an appearance in family court for resolution. This is especially true when one or both of the ex-spouses wishes to move to a different area. The decision to remove the child from physical proximity of one of the parents is not taken lightly, and is often contested by the parent that does not wish to move.

Intense scrutiny may be applied to the motives of a parent that wishes to relocate. If the parent who does not have primary custody of the child wishes to contest the custodial parent's decision to move, then it may be necessary to demonstrate in court that the child's life will be substantially improved by the new location. The well-being of the child is paramount in family law, and the court will attempt to weigh many issues before making a decision. Proximity to a support network or a job with better pay are only factors to consider, and they are not paramount.

The family court may decree the schedules of possession and access to the child, or the divorcees may come to an agreement between themselves. The more evenly that rights are divided between two responsible parents, the more difficult it will be to demonstrate that the child's life would be improved by moving away from the other parent.

A couple faced with this situation is not always able to come to an amicable accord. In cases where the the court must decide, they consider the impact on the familial support available, the financial security of the custodial parent, and the emotional health of the child.

Source: The Huffington Post, "6 Things to Expect and Consider When Relocating with Children After Divorce", Andrea Moore, December 18, 2013

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Bruce Turner

In addition to his law degree, Bruce Turner has a master's degree in tax law and is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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