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Can I move out of state with my child after a divorce?

Divorced parents have many valid reasons why they wish to move out of the state once a divorce occurs. A parent might receive a good job offer outside of Texas or wish to live closer to his or her family members. Although it is the right of single parents to seek a better income or a more desirable living arrangement, they must still comply with child custody orders.

The first thing to understand is that you cannot simply uproot your child and move away on a whim. Your co-parent will probably object to such a move and doing so could land you in the midst of a child custody dispute.

A better and more equitable approach is to obtain consent from your co-parent if possible and then seek approval from a family court. Consulting with a legal professional can help you prepare for the court's scrutiny while also offering tips that will help your case. Family courts look at many factors when making decisions about relocation. Some of these factors may include:

  • Whether the custodial parent has provided notice of the proposed move
  • Reasons for relocation such as a better income or pursuit of higher education
  • Reasons the noncustodial parent objects to relocation
  • Whether the custodial parent has provided a revised visitation schedule

Because family courts have a duty to protect a child's best interests at all times, it will not make relocation decisions lightly. This is especially so in today's modern world, which recognizes the benefits two loving and accessible parents bring to a child's life. However, as long as you ensure that your child will still be able to have a healthy relationship with your co-parent, relocating is certainly a possibility.

Source: FindLaw, "Child Custody Relocation Laws," accessed April 12, 2018

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