The changes one will experience because of a divorce won’t change simply because the process is final. For many Texas parents, taking steps to move forward may include finding a new job, new home and even a new location. However, moving too far away after a divorce can be problematic for parents who share child custody. What happens if one parent wants to relocate after divorce?
Any child custody decision should be in the best interests of the child above all else. If a spouse wants to relocate, it is prudent to carefully consider how this decision could impact the kids and the relationship he or she has with the other parent. When a parent desires to make a change to a custody or visitation plan, he or she will need court approval. Some reasons a court may approve a move include:
- The new location will be closer to family that can help with child care.
- The desired location has a better cost of living and will allow for a better lifestyle.
- There is a job opportunity that requires relocation.
- The custodial parent must move in order to continue his or her education.
The noncustodial parent has the right to contest a move, especially if the distance will impact visitation times and the ability to maintain an active role in the life of the child. A Texas family court is less likely to approve the custodial parent’s petition to relocate if the other parent is committed to his or her visitation time and involved with the child’s life as much as possible. Regardless of what each parent wants, the court’s priority will be what’s best for the kids long-term.