As a Dallas family lawyer, I have helped many clients navigate the process of modifying a custody and visitation order in Texas. One of the most common reasons for seeking a modification is when one parent wants to move to another state for a better job. In this blog post, I will explain the process for modifying a Texas custody and visitation order in this scenario.
Material and Substantial Change in Circumstances
Under Texas law, there must be a material and substantial change in circumstances to justify a modification of a custody and visitation order. A parent’s decision to move to another state for a better job may or may not constitute such a change, depending on the circumstances.
If the parent’s move would significantly affect the child’s relationship with the other parent or the child’s welfare, it may be considered a material and substantial change. However, if the move would not have a significant impact on the child’s relationship with the other parent or the child’s welfare, it may not be considered a material and substantial change.
Filing a Modification Suit
If a parent wants to modify a custody and visitation order because they are moving to another state for a better job, they must file a modification suit with the court that issued the original order. The other parent will be served with notice of the suit and will have the opportunity to respond.
The court will hold a hearing to determine whether there has been a material and substantial change in circumstances and, if so, whether a modification of the custody and visitation order is in the best interests of the child.
Factors Considered by the Court
In determining whether a modification is in the best interests of the child, the court will consider a variety of factors, including:
- The child’s age and needs
- The child’s relationship with each parent
- The parents’ ability to cooperate and make joint decisions
- The geographic distance between the parents’ residences
- The reason for the proposed move
- The potential impact of the move on the child’s relationship with the other parent
- The potential difference in cost of living between the two areas
- Evidence of living, educational, or work expenses
- State income tax
- Travel expenses
The parent seeking the modification will need to provide evidence to support their position regarding the factors listed.
Consult with a Knowledgeable Family Law Attorney
If you are considering a modification of a Texas custody and visitation order because you want to move to another state for a better job, it is essential to consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney. An experienced attorney can help you understand your rights and obligations under Texas law, prepare a strong case to present to the court, and guide you through the legal process.
At the Blacknall Firm, our team of experienced family law attorneys has helped many clients successfully navigate the complex process of modifying a Texas custody and visitation order.