Preparing for an out-of-state relocation is always stressful. Preparing an out-of-state relocation while navigating the legal aspects of your child custody arrangement can be even more stressful.
When custodial parents move into or out of Texas, there are many legal details that they will have to keep in mind. It is also important to manage the move in a way that keeps your child's best interests in mind, respects your custody arrangement and makes the transition as smooth as possible.
Help your child adjust
Moving can be difficult for a child, especially when their parents are divorced. You want the relocation to be as smooth as possible so that your child can adjust well. These are a few tips for the transition:
- Tell your child about the move in advance. Springing the relocation on them as a surprise may not give them enough time to adjust.
- Have them help with the move. Assign them small tasks like packing or cleaning that can help them feel as if they are contributing to the relocation.
- Teach them about their future home. Are you moving to a state that has a lot of snow? Or perhaps you and your child are new to Texas? Educate your child about the state that will soon become your new home.
- Make arrangements to keep friendships and other peer relationships intact, including "via electronic communications".
Consider your custody arrangement
There could be a relocation dispute if you and your spouse do not agree to the move. You may need your spouse's consent to move to a new state with your child. If your spouse does not grant permission, then you could attempt to modify your child custody arrangement in court. You may wish to consult with an experienced Board-certified Family Law expert attorney in order to explore all of your legal options in such an event. If you, as parents, are unable to agree, the court will decide whether relocation is in the best interests of the child. If a judge allows you to move with your child, they will issue a new arrangement that addresses issues like parenting time and visitation.