Practicing Family Law With Heart For More Than 25 Years

May I relocate out of state with my child after divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 2, 2021 | Child Custody

You moved to Texas for spouse’s job and then had a family. Things did not work out in the relationship and now, you want a divorce. You also want to move back to your home state, hundreds of miles outside of the Lone Star State. Will a judge allow you to do this?

Well, it may be done, but things must fall exactly into place. Courts base their decision on a child’s best interest. In most cases, that best interest means what both parents remain present and living in Texas so they may share parenting time. The reasoning: The child remains better adjusted with a continuing bond between both parents.

Will the move be bad for the child?

Usually, courts do not look favorably upon one parent relocating out of state with a child. The main reason is that such a move may have a harmful effect on them. Judges ponder many factors when a parent seeks to leave the state with a child in tow.

However, if a judge determines that an out-of-state move will lead to a tremendous negative outcome for the children, you likely can forget about this option from ever happening.

Need a court order

Relocation after divorce may occur for several reasons such as a remarriage, job transfer or having a better and closer family support system. A study published by the Journal of Family Psychology noted that 3% of custodial parents relocated within 12 weeks of a divorce; 10% within a year; and 17% within two years.

In order to make an out-of-state move, a parent needs a court order to allow for this to happen. That modification regarding child custody can only take place if you prove that the move is in the best interest of the child.

A move is possible …

A relocation deeply affects family members. A child may feel torn when separated from another parent. The same holds true for the non-relocating parent who may now become a long-distance parent. Leaving Texas with your child is possible but consider all factors before pursuing such an action.