At the conclusion of a Texas child custody proceeding, the court will typically enter an order establishing the child’s custodial parent and a specific geographic area within which the custodial parent must maintain the child’s primary residence.
In theory, this final child custody order is just that—final. In reality, however, people’s life circumstances might change. And sometimes, this may require a parental relocation outside what was permitted in the custody order.
If you are a parent seeking information on child relocation in Texas, give the family law attorneys at the Ramos Law Group, PLLC, a call. Let’s discuss your case and see how we can help you fight for your family today.
The Ramos Law Group, PLLC: Your Trusted Pearland Relocation Lawyer
Child relocation matters are rarely simple. So it’s important to have someone on your side who you can trust to competently and confidently help you navigate this process.
With so many attorneys to choose from in and near Pearland, TX, selecting one for your child relocation case might feel overwhelming. Here are a few reasons why we think we are the right team for the job:
- Our firm focuses exclusively on the practice of divorce and family law;
- Founding attorney Mary E. Ramos is Board Certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization;
- We place emphasis on hiring top talent and investing in the continued education and training of our attorneys;
- Our team is comprised of effective negotiators but also experienced litigators who will not hesitate to take your case to trial when necessary; and
- We are honored to have received many positive reviews from a wide range of clients.
At the Ramos Law Group, PLLC, we pride ourselves on helping our clients heal by providing them with the best legal representation possible through proactive support, education, transparency, and passionate advocacy.
If you’re not quite ready to move forward, that’s okay! We understand that this is an important decision that may take some time. In the meantime, use our guide below to learn more about the child relocation process in Texas and how an attorney can help you obtain the results you need and deserve.
Texas Child Relocation Law: An Overview
If you or your spouse are considering a move to a location that would significantly impact your existing custody arrangement, a request for child relocation may be necessary. Here are a few things you should know before moving forward with a child relocation.
What Is Child Relocation?
Child relocation refers to a scenario where the custodial parent—or the parent with the exclusive right to designate the child’s primary residence—must move their residence to a location beyond what was authorized in the original custody order.
Notably, however, a court will not grant a request for child relocation for just any reason. Rather, Texas Family Code § 156.101 specifies that the courts may modify an existing custody order only if “the circumstances of the child, a conservator, or other party affected by the order have materially and substantially changed” since the entry of the initial order.
Child Relocation Considerations
In making its decision, the court will often consider the following factors:
- Underlying reasons for the requested relocation;
- Distance of the proposed relocation from the child’s current primary residence;
- Potential impact of the relocation on the child’s relationship with the non-custodial parent;
- Age and needs of the child;
- Availability of reasonable travel arrangements and ability to preserve the relationship between the child and non-custodial parent; and
- Wishes of the child (where appropriate, based on the child’s age and maturity level).
Ultimately, however, Texas courts will only modify a custody order to permit a child relocation if it determines that doing so would be in the best interest of the child.
What to Expect at a Child Relocation Hearing
The child relocation hearing is the parties’ opportunity to present their respective cases and show why the proposed relocation is in the child’s best interest or, conversely, why it is not.
This hearing will typically involve the following:
- Presentation of evidence, such as communications between the parents, information about the parties’ finances, or documentation regarding the location and conditions of the proposed relocation;
- Questioning of witnesses, including testimony from the custodial and non-custodial parents, other related parties with knowledge of the facts, and potential expert witnesses such as child psychologists or therapists; and
- Legal arguments in support of the party’s respective positions.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the court will consider the evidence and arguments presented before making a final decision on whether to permit the requested child relocation.
How Having a Lawyer for Child Relocation in Pearland, TX, Can Be an Asset to Your Case
At the end of the day, seeking child relocation is a complex legal process with many requirements that must be adhered to. Thus, having a qualified family law attorney in your corner is highly recommended.
An experienced family law and child relocation attorney can help you with the following:
- Analyze the law and assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case;
- Ensure that you comply with any applicable deadlines;
- Gather relevant evidence and prepare potential witnesses to help support your claims that the relief you are seeking is in the best interest of your child;
- Negotiate potential settlements with the opposing parent and their legal counsel;
- Draft and file important legal documents; and
- Appear on your behalf and present your case in court.
Of course, you can always attempt to navigate the process without the assistance of legal counsel. However, doing so can sometimes result in mistakes, delays, and adverse impacts on the ultimate outcome of your case.
Speak with a Pearland Relocation Attorney Today
Child relocation in Texas can have a significant impact on the rights and obligations of both parents involved. Thus, when it comes to something as important as your children, it’s imperative that you follow the correct procedures to better protect yourself and your family.
When you’re ready to get started and discuss your case, give the Ramos Law Group, PLLC, a call. Schedule your consultation and see how our team can help you move forward today.