Moving Away With A Child After Divorce Or Separation
Often at the time of separation or divorce, one spouse needs the financial, emotional and child care support of their family who may live in another city or state. Also, in today’s business environment, professionals must often consider relocating to advance their careers or to take advantage of new job opportunities.
In parent and child relocation cases, far-reaching decisions must be made regarding custody and visitation arrangements. As an experienced Austin family law firm, Weinman & Associates, P.C. frequently represents parents interested in relocating with their child. We also represent parents who want to prevent the other parent from relocating with the child or who want to ensure a strong and continued relationship with the child in the event of relocation.
Parental relocation legal disputes are complex and can be very contentious. We understand the importance you place on your relationship with your children. We will represent you with energy and conviction to achieve your goals, while looking out for the best interests of your children. Call 512-472-4040 to get us involved as soon as possible.
Parental Relocations And The Law
When the court issues a child custody and visitation order, there is generally a restriction put into place regarding a child’s residence to a defined geographic area.
Faced with this reality, what can a parent do when he or she has a valid reason for wanting to move the child away? Depending on the distance, the age of the children, and the financial resources available, it may be possible to negotiate an acceptable arrangement that allows the move in return for a reasonable plan for visitation. This may mean extended holiday visits, or more time during the summer months with the noncustodial parent.
We have a demonstrated record of achieving creative co-parenting solutions, which account for unusual circumstances such as parental relocations. With a basic understanding of the difficulties involved and many creative ideas, we may be able to negotiate a win-win visitation arrangement.
Cross-State Vs. Interstate And International Move-Aways
When one parent wants to move with the child to another part of Texas, that is one thing. Moving out of state or out of the country is something completely different, and it calls into play specific laws, including the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) and the Hague Convention. We are among the few law firms that have achieved published opinions in cases involving these issues, which is part of the reason we have become the go-to attorneys for handling these cases in the Austin area.
If you are involved in a case that involves interstate or international child abduction or a move-away that crosses state or country lines, we encourage you to get in touch with us. We can also help you answer some important initial questions you may have about relocating, such as:
Can I move away with my child without the other parent’s consent?
It is possible to relocate with your child without gaining the permission of the other parent. However, if you do not gain consent from the other parent, you will need to gain a court order allowing you to move.
Can the other parent move away with my child without my permission?
It may not always be ideal or preferable for the other parent to move with your child and not gain permission from you to do so, but it is legally possible. If the other parent goes to a court for the ability to relocate legally, they can obtain a court order to move without having to get your permission.
Can the other parent stop me from moving away with my child?
Even when acting with proper legal methods, the other parent may still use the law to prevent your relocation. By filing a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR), the other parent can stop you from legally moving. This suit is a petition that will call for a judge to issue a new court order regarding your custody agreement, which can be changed in a way to keep you from moving within or out of the state with your child.
Can I prevent the other parent from moving away with my child?
While you can obtain a temporary restraining order by filing a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship, you cannot get one simply because you do not like the idea of your ex-spouse moving away from you with your child. You will need to establish a necessary reason for the SAPCR. By establishing the need for your child to stay in the area where they currently live, such as showing how relocating can damage their social relationships or limit their access to other family members, you can increase your chances of preventing a relocation. Your family law attorney can help you determine if you have grounds to file one of these suits.
Litigated Relocation Outcomes
If the parents cannot agree to a mutually acceptable resolution, then it is left to the court to decide. The court will always consider the best interest of the child as its primary concern. However, this path can be risky — you could be putting your future relationship with your child in the hands of a judge who may have a personal bias, and who will never fully understand your family’s unique situation. In addition, court battles involving parental relocations can be lengthy and costly.
However, when litigation is your only option, Weinman & Associates, P.C. will vigorously represent you to protect your rights and interests. Having gone through family law litigation ourselves in our own lives, we understand on a personal level how to obtain a favorable outcome.