Child and Parental Relocation Lawyer in The Woodlands, TX Manages Post-Divorce Conflicts
Fighting for parental rights and the best interests of your children
One of the greatest challenges to life after divorce arises when one parent wants to relocate at too great a distance for the current parenting plan to work. A custodial parent might want to move “with the kids” or a noncustodial parent might be forced to move too far away to see them on a regular basis. At the Law Office of Jerry Porter, we sympathize with these difficult circumstances. I have helped many parents resolve difficult post-divorce conflicts, including the question of relocation. I understand the factors a court weighs when deciding if relocation is in the best interests of the child. I have been successful in achieving my clients’ objectives, whether that means getting permission for a move or having the court prohibit relocation. I have also been able to negotiate new time-share parenting plans that protect my clients’ right to maintain meaningful contact with their children.
When is relocation in the best interests of the child?
Parents desire relocation for a number of reasons: a career opportunity, a new relationship, to be closer to extended family or simply to enjoy a much-needed change of venue. Nothing can stop a parent from moving, but in order to take the children (even on a part-time basis), that parent needs the permission of the other parent or an order from the court. The court looks at the totality of the circumstances and decides whether the move is, on the whole, in the best interests of the child. Some factors the court may consider include:
- Improvement in the child’s standard of living
- Improvement in the child’s home life
- Improvement in opportunities, such as education and enrichment activities
- Proximity to other family members
- Quality of the relationship with the other parent
- Burden on the relationship with other parent
When you ask the court to weigh several factors, it helps to have an experienced attorney who can emphasize the points necessary to persuade the court to rule in your favor.
Negotiating solutions to your relocation quandary
When a custodial parent requests to relocate with the children, there are four possible outcomes:
- The children are permitted to go with the parent, who retains full child custody.
- The children are ordered to stay and the current custodial parent foregoes relocation.
- The children are ordered to stay and the current custodial parent moves, forfeiting custody to the other parent.
- The children are permitted to go, but the custody order is amended to joint custody on a time-share basis.
With such widely divergent possibilities, a court fight can be all-or-nothing. However, when parents take reasonable positions, it’s often possible to work out a compromise that allows both parents to maintain a loving relationship with their children. Negotiating with the other spouse takes the decision out of the hands of the judge and allows the parents to control the outcome. Of course, this depends on both sides being reasonable, which, sadly, is not always the case. When dealing with an unreasonable opponent, the only choice is to go to court and fight aggressively for your rights to custody visitation.
Contact an experienced family law attorney for relocation disputes in The Woodlands
Relocation can be a difficult issue to resolve, because it disrupts the parenting plan you’ve worked so hard to establish and injects uncertainty into your relationship with your children. I understand how emotionally charged this issue can be. I draw on more than 30 years of legal experience to resolve relocation disputes favorably for my clients in The Woodlands, Montgomery County and throughout the greater Houston area. To schedule a consultation, call 281.296.3131 or contact the Law Office of Jerry Porter online.