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Child custody basics when considering relocation after divorce

It is not uncommon for a divorced parent to consider relocation. Reasons for relocation could be varied and may include a relationship that is new or an employer moving business operations to a different city or state. A parent who was a stay-at-home parent during the marriage may be unable to obtain suitable employment in the current location and may need to relocate to look elsewhere. Whenever a Texas parent who has child custody wants to move away, there are bound to be legal issues over the relocation.

Although child custody laws vary in different states, the primary concern of all family courts is the best interests of the children. The court will assume that relocating may not be in the child's best interest, and the relocating parent will have the burden of proving that wrong. Add to this the non-custodial parent's argument that the relocating parent should not be allowed to relocate, and you have an issue to be resolved.

Several factors will be reflected upon by the court while considering its permission for relocation. The ages of the children will play an important part, and the opinions of older, more mature children may be considered. The smaller the distance between the new and old homes, the better the chance of the relocation to be authorized. The expected quality of life in the new location will be carefully evaluated by the court.

A parent wishing to relocate will want to be properly prepared prior to going to court. Advance knowledge of activities and available suitable schools will be beneficial. In addition, a visitation plan -- including travel plans -- should be in place. To avoid an adverse effect on the bond between children and the parent who stays behind, the plans may include extended visits with that parent.

Both parents may have a difficult task of proving their side of the case in a Texas family court, but they may find comfort in knowing that they need not face this alone. Relocation and child custody issues are the area of expertise of family law attorneys, and seeking their assistance may prove to be invaluable, regardless of whether you are the relocating or non-relocating parent. With the guidance of such a professional, an outcome to suit both parents and children may be obtained.

Source: singleparents.about.com, "Child Relocation Guidelines", Debrina Washington, Sept. 26, 2014

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