When parents divorce or separate, one of the most contentious issues is determining child custody. Custody orders are put in place to ensure that the best interests of the child are always considered, and this includes ensuring that they have a stable and secure living environment. However, circumstances can change, and the custodial parent may wish to move to another state. This can present a complex legal issue, as the child’s best interests must still be considered, and the non-custodial parent’s rights must also be protected. In this blog post, we will discuss how to modify a custody order to relocate to another state, including geographic restriction, the best interests of the child, reasons a custodial parent may want to move, how difficult it is to get a modification to relocate, and ensuring that the non-custodial parent still gets visits.
A geographic restriction is a clause in a custody order that limits where the custodial parent can move with the child. This is often put in place to ensure that the non-custodial parent can still have regular visitation and contact with the child. The geographic restriction can be specific, such as limiting the custodial parent to a particular city or county, or it can be broader, such as limiting the custodial parent to the state where the child currently resides.
Best Interests of the Child
When considering a modification to relocate to another state, the court will always consider the best interests of the child. This means that the court will examine a variety of factors, such as the child’s relationship with each parent, the child’s current living situation, the child’s school and community, and the potential impact of the move on the child’s emotional and psychological well-being. Ultimately, the court will determine whether the move is in the child’s best interests.
Reasons Custodial Parent May Want to Move
There are many reasons why a custodial parent may want to move to another state. Some common reasons include:
- A new job opportunity
- The need to be closer to family members or support networks
- A desire for a better living situation or environment for the child
- Health or medical reasons
It is important for the custodial parent to be able to articulate their reasons for wanting to move, as this will help the court determine whether the move is in the child’s best interests.
How Difficult is it to Get a Modification to Relocate?
Getting a modification to relocate to another state can be difficult, as the court must balance the best interests of the child with the rights of the non-custodial parent. However, it is not impossible. The custodial parent will need to file a motion with the court requesting the modification, and the non-custodial parent will have the opportunity to object. If the non-custodial parent objects, the court will hold a hearing to determine whether the modification should be granted.
Ensuring Non-Custodial Parent Still Gets Visits
If the court grants the modification to relocate, it is important to ensure that the non-custodial parent still gets visits. This may involve adjusting the visitation schedule to account for the distance between the two homes or finding alternative ways for the non-custodial parent to maintain regular contact with the child, such as through video calls or phone calls.
Modifying a custody order to relocate to another state can be a complex legal issue, but it is possible if the custodial parent can show that the move is in the child’s best interests. It is important for the custodial parent to be able to articulate their reasons for wanting to move, and to work with the non-custodial parent to ensure that they still get visits.
Contact The Blacknall Firm for Representation
If you are considering filing for modification of a custody order in Texas, it’s important to work with an experienced family law attorney who can guide you through the process. The Blacknall Firm has a team of skilled attorneys who are dedicated to helping clients navigate the complexities of family law.
To discuss retaining our firm for your divorce or child custody case, please schedule a consultation with us today.