Child custody decisions and parenting agreements are legal documents. Parents enter into these contracts as a way of navigating their relationships and obligations related to their children.
Sometimes, the factors involved in the parent’s and children’s lives will change over time, making it necessary to seek modifications. One potential factor that may lead to a need to return to court is when one of the parents wishes to relocate with the children. For the non-moving parent, a relocation could severely impact their ability to spend time with their children. Alternatively, parents who wish to move for good reason may have an opportunity to support their children better and provide an improved lifestyle for their family. Courts take these decisions very seriously. If you are looking to move with your children, or if your co-parent is planning to move, speak to a West Lake Hills relocation lawyer. Our family attorneys could help you in your situation.
Agreements Versus Litigation in Relocation Cases
As with many issues in family law, if two parents can agree to a relocation, the modification process will move much more smoothly. Still, even in cases where both parties believe that the move is in the children’s best interests, the individuals should modify their agreement and ensure that they both fully understand the new arrangement.
If the parents disagree about the proposed move, they may need to litigate the matter in court. Parents seeking to move must prove that the relocation is in the children’s best interests. The courts will look at the factors that include the reason why the parent is moving and how the move will impact the child or children. A West Lake Hills attorney could help someone in a relocation case either prove or disprove that a move is in a child’s best interests.
Reasons to Support Moving
Some compelling reasons to move may include a good job opportunity or the desire to be closer to family members and support systems. If a parent can provide a better lifestyle or environment for their children, courts will take this into consideration. Also, if a move provides improved educational opportunities for the children the court may consider this a good reason to approve relocation as well.
Reasons Against Moving
Courts will frown upon any attempt to move that appears to be an effort to prevent the noncustodial parent from having time with the children. Additionally, even in cases where a parent has strong, compelling reasons to relocate, courts will weigh those against the move’s negative impacts.
If the children are well adjusted to their community, school, and family near their current home, even a valid reason for relocating might not convince the court to approve this request. Also, if the noncustodial parent is involved in the children’s lives regularly and the move will impact that relationship, this will serve as a strong reason for the court to deny the relocation request.
Changing Parenting Schedules
If the parties agree on the move, or the court decides to allow the custodial parent to move with the children, there will be further considerations the parents must address. For instance, the current schedule may no longer be practical. If the parties live hours away from one another, weekday dinners might become more difficult.
To make up for the time the noncustodial parent loses, the individuals may need to agree to a schedule that allows more time during holiday breaks or otherwise makes up for the lost parenting time. It is essential to discuss all of these issues with the relocation attorney in West Lake Hills.
Hire a West Lake Hills Relocation Attorney
Relocation is a major family decision. When the parties involved include unwed or divorced parents, these issues can be even more complicated both emotionally and legally. If you are attempting to relocate with your children, or your former partner is attempting to move, you should seek legal advice. Call a West Lake Hills relocation lawyer today to discuss your case.