Depending on how your divorce plays out, you may be considering relocating to another city. It’s not uncommon, especially if you moved into the Dallas-Fort Worth area after your marriage or for a job.
Whether you’re taking a new job in a new city or state, move back to your hometown, or you just want to make a fresh start, relocating always comes with some considerations before you start packing and hire a moving truck.
How Will The Move Be Beneficial?
There are many reasons to move after a divorce, even if it’s just for a change of scenery or to be closer to your immediate family. You may be headed to college, or going back to school for a graduate degree.
If your marriage had no children, and it was simply a “parting of the ways,” you may not have to notify your former spouse about where you’re moving to unless your divorce isn’t final. If it’s still in process, you should notify your attorney (of course) as well as your spouse’s attorney. Uncontested divorces with no children or property can be over pretty quickly, so it shouldn’t take that long.
How Will Your Children Benefit From Moving?
If you do have children, you probably already know that their other parent will likely complain about it, especially if you’re relocating a farther distance that makes their visitations difficult.
A Texas court will always consider the best interest of the child. So consider how the move will benefit them when you’re working on updating the parenting plan. The state will require you to show how the child will benefit from this move as well as you.
A new job may offer a better and more stable financial situation, allowing you to better provide for their needs. Moving into a better school district, nearer to your extended family can also be more beneficial, and may weigh more in your favor than only a new job. A combination of these factors may also weigh heavily in your favor.
Moving to a new area may also bring better educational opportunities and medical services for both you and the children, especially if the current area doesn’t have a wide range of services available. When discussing this in court, emphasize how the children’s lives will be enhanced by the move.
If you’re moving for remarriage, point out to the court the benefits that the marriage will bring, including increased involvement, a stable financial situation, social support, as well as additional resources available to the child.
Moving without your former’s spouse’s permission and without notifying the court can bring penalties such as contempt of court, being ordered to return the children to their other parent, and complete loss of custody.
Your Children’s Relationship With Their Other Parent
Texas encourages children to have relationships with both parents. If your move outside of the geographic area affects their relationship with the other parent, your court order will need to be updated.
If your move will be in excess of 100 miles from your ex-spouse, you will have to not only notify him or her, but you’ll also have to go back to court to request a modification of the possession (custody) order. Depending on where you plan to move to, whether one or two counties away or to another state, you will also have to consider the increased travel expenses the other parent will incur by this new visitation schedule. Make sure that their visitation is generous and that the children will be available for these visitation periods.
Whatever the relationship situation, the state of Texas encourages both parents to be involved with their children and maintain a strong relationship. Encouraging non-physical contact such as phone calls, texts, email and video chats helps children maintain these parental relationships from a longer distance with less resistance from the other parent.
For Help With Possession Orders In Tarrant County, Call Wendy L. Hart
If moving away after your divorce is more complicated because of an ex-spouse or a child custody order, we’re ready to help. From visitation arrangements to changing the schedule, we can take care of everything to make your move and your new life work better.
Wendy L. Hart is an experienced family law attorney helping people throughout Tarrant County with child conservatorship, possession plans and visitation rights. We represent both men and women for family law matters. Visit our Mansfield office, use our online contact form, or call us at (817) 842-2336 for an appointment