Relocating With Children After A Divorce In Texas
Can One Parent Move A Child To A New Home In Another City, State, Or County If Relocation Does Not Impact The Custody Arrangement With The Other Parent?
Suppose no geographical restrictions specifically restrict where the child can live in an existing court order. In that case, nothing bars a parent from moving the child to a different jurisdiction, another state, or another county.
The custody order usually specifies if the parents live certain miles apart. If the parents live 50 miles apart, 50 to 100 miles apart, or more than 100 miles apart, different visitation provisions come into play. Then you look at how the distance impacts the visitation schedule based on how far your new residence is from the other parent’s residence.
If The Court Grants Relocation, Do They Automatically Adjust The Custody Child Support To Accommodate The Time Difference And Time Spent With The Child?
Child support is often not automatically adjusted if relocation is granted. Changing child support would have to be done either through a petition to modify the child support or through an informal process with the Office of the Attorney General.
Suppose automatic adjustments are included in the child support order. In that case, it automatically outlines what kind of visitation, possession, and access should be based on distance. If automatic adjustments are not included in your child support order, you must go back to court and file a petition to modify after relocation if you need something changed.
Do Automatic Adjustments to Child Support Orders Work For Visitations And Such Schedules?
The Family Code provides three different visitation tiers:
- Tier 1: for when parents live less than 50 miles apart
- Tier 2: for when parents live between 50 and 100 miles apart
- Tier 3: for when parents live more than 100 miles apart
The Family Code has a Standard Possession Order for those three distances. You want to be sure that the standard possession order has been included in your specific final order with any changes or modifications you want to make. This way, the possession, and visitation will automatically change.
Suppose that one parent moved while that final order was in effect – and provisions for this move were not incorporated into your visitation order. In that case, you would need to go back to court and have visitation modified.
Do I Need A Child Custody Attorney To Apply For A Relocation With My Child?
You do not need a child custody attorney to apply to move with your children. But suppose your goal is to get geographical restrictions lifted or your custody order modified so you can move farther away. In that case, you may want a child custody attorney by your side.
Alternatively, suppose you want to have visitation schedules changed because you’ve moved closer. In this situation, you always want to have a child custody attorney involved so they can walk you through the family code. Your lawyer will explain what you’re entitled to and then help you prove to the court if you need something more than what the family code says. This is especially true if there’s a reason that a standard provision should not apply in your case.