Major life changes could occur at any time. For some Texas couples, this is when they seek to divorce. This decision often includes numerous factors to consider. If children are involved in the dissolution, issues such as custody and support need to be determined. Although a divorce is considered a major life change, other changes, such as relocation, could not only impact a person’s life but could also affect a divorce agreement or a child custody arrangement. A move for a career, a fresh start or the desire to be closer to family members after a divorce could create problems if children are involved.
A recent article focused on relocation and how it can affect everyone involved. This is especially true for divorced Texas residents who have children. When a married couple resides in a state where one or both are not originally from, when they divorce it is common for one ex-spouse to want to relocate to their home state. The desire to start over and heal after a divorce can drive a decision to be closer to family. Although it is a usual response, it is not easily accomplished.
If a move is long distance, this could be problematic for child custody arrangements. Some parents will be able to adjust their schedule to accommodate this type of change by making long distance travel to exchange the children. However, for most people this is not ideal, and one parent will need to maintain primary custody whether it is the one remaining at their home or the one relocating.
When determining whether children will make the move with a parent, two factors need to be considered. The best interest of the child is the focal point, looking at school, friends and family in proximity of each home. Next, courts will look at impact. If the move will significantly benefit the child, it will be determined to minimally impact them. The quality of their life with either parent will help determine the modification of custody.
Source: Huffington Post, “6 Things to Expect and Consider When Relocating with Children After Divorce,” Andrea Moore, Dec. 18, 2013