Relocation essentials for Texas families

In family law cases, relocation is frequently a topic. Many people attempt to relocate themselves and their families before, after and even during a case. This presents challenges but also opportunities for families. At the Law Office of Bryan Fagan we understand that starting fresh is a worthwhile desire. There may also be factors in play for your family that require a move. What is the best way to go about these types of moves?

Please allow this information from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan to serve as your guide on relocation. After going through a family law case, there are more factors in play than previously. Abiding by court orders is something to bear in mind as you begin to transition into a different lifestyle. At the same time, ensuring that any relocation is in the best interests of your children matters a great deal. Stability and consistency in their lives has an importance all to itself.

Sharing children with your co-parent means learning techniques geared towards joint decision making. A potential relocation changes family dynamics. To maximize the well-being of your children it is important to consider all factors related to relocation. Relocation is neither a good nor bad thing, necessarily. However, the relocation attempts of your family are impactful on you, your co-parent and your child.

The impact of relocation on family dynamics

It is hard to argue that relocation would not have a potentially great impact on the dynamics of your family. Even if you do not consider your co-parent to be a part of your family, this is still true. Whereas you may hold these opinions your child still claims your  co-parent as his or her mother or father. Therefore, taking into consideration the impact of a relocation on him or her is essential. Going through the stages of a relocation before planning out the impacts on your co-parent would be a mistake.

Deciding that the relocation is necessary is neither good or bad in and of itself. Every relocation comes with risks and potential benefits. The best people to gauge these risks and benefits are you and your co-parent. Despite your disagreements with your co-parent on any number of subjects you two are still charged with making decisions on behalf of your children. Being joint managing conservators means sharing the decision-making responsibilities.

Rather, a relocation must be made with the consent and approval of your coparent. By working with your co-parent on this you can avoid potentially harming your child in significant ways. Moving a long distance from your co-parent means changing the nature of your child’s relationship with him or her. Therefore, the specific need(s) to relocate must be significant. Any other justification would not suffice under the circumstances.

There are a number of important considerations to bear in mind as you consider a relocation. This is not one of those subjects that you can rush into. Rather, relocation requires that you take your time and consider the options before you. Once a relocation is made it is very difficult and expensive to undo that step. A great deal of planning should be undertaken prior to engaging a move.

Important consideration right off the bat is that a court gauges A relocation request based on the best interests of your child. No matter what the motivating factor is behind the move a court considers the move when looking through the eyes of your child. Therefore, any benefit to you or your family is secondary. The best interests of your child are determined by looking at their present and future. The child’s emotional, behavioral, and physical needs are all incorporated into this analysis.

What are some common reasons why a relocation may be sought?

Finding a new job is a standard reason to request a relocation. In an age where so many of us work remotely it is now less important where we reside. How many of you reading this blog post have an employer who was located nowhere near where you live? This is provided not only opportunities for employment growth but also opportunities to expand your horizons on places to live. When you find the perfect job it’s no longer must be situated where you live.

On the other hand, there are certainly job opportunities where the location of the job requires a relocation. Sometimes we fall into the trap of assuming that every job allows for remote work. However, many of the most important jobs in our society do not allow for remote work. Therefore, if you work in medicine, hospitality, or entertainment a physical move may become necessary for you. This relocation may have been years in the making. However, it is more complicated when family law court orders come into play.

Educational opportunities spur a desire to relocate

A desire to finish your education may lead to the need to relocate elsewhere. Again, this age of virtual school it is less likely that this is now the case. However, in some circumstances moving may be required. This happens in situations where scholarships and other aid opportunities are available through in person schooling in a different location. In that case, deciding to relocate may involve a short term cost and a long term gain. Depending upon the length of time you need to go back to school this could be well worth it.

Many people become more interested in completing school after a divorce. Reason being is that you have a greater need to provide for yourself financially. As a result, finishing a degree or beginning a degree may be something you are interested in, as well. Determining the availability of education close to your current residence makes sense as a first option to pursue. Rather than relocating unnecessarily look around your area to find suitable opportunities. New paragraph however, if those opportunities do not exist in your current area then determine the options available to you elsewhere. By undertaking a move, you may be able to avoid costs that could otherwise hamstring your family both now and in the future.

Moving to be closer to family

One of the most understandable reasons why you may want to relocate after a divorce it is a desire to be closer to your family. When losing your spouse, it becomes reasonable to try and regain a relationship with extended family. These may have been family members who you were not able to spend as much time with for several reasons during your marriage. Now that the marriage has come to an end it could be time to revisit these relationships in a serious way. 

A romantic interest could lead to relocation

It is not uncommon to seek additional romantic opportunities after a divorce. This opportunity may have started as an online relationship. Now it has progressed to the point where an in-person relationship is necessary. When you find yourself in this position, relocation may strike you as the only option. However, moving for romantic reasons makes sense for you but not necessarily for a child. Convincing a judge that relocating for a romantic relationship is in the best interest of your child may not be possible.

Examining your motivation for moving 

Without a doubt, your motivation for moving matters. Ultimately your case may need to go before a judge for him or her to consider. The best interests of your child all right the forefront of their decision making. However, your motivation for moving also is important. No matter how well-meaning or noble your motivation is, if it harms the relationship between your Co parent and your child then the relocation is not going to be allowed.

On the other hand, a court may grant your request to relocate under certain circumstances. The most obvious would be you relinquishing the right to determine the primary residence of your child. This means that a court could grant your relocation request if your child stays with your co-parent. At that point, the judge puts you in a position where it is a matter of choosing between the relocation and your children.

These are complex and difficult decisions to make. Many parents in your position struggle with determining the the best course of action to take. The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan are here to guide and assist parents just like you. A free of charge consultation with one of our attorneys is available to you six days a week.

Examine your court orders for more information

Understanding what your court order say as far as relocation is concerned matters a great deal. Many families make decisions about where to live and whether to move without first consulting their court orders. This is a major mistake. First, look at what the orders say as far as conservatorship rights. Conservatorship refers to the rights and duties that a parent has in relationship to their child. These rights and duties take on added importance when a family lives in a divided household. Being able to work alongside your co-parent is essential. 

This is something that is oftentimes overlooked as families transition into separate households. Many times, the feeling during a family law case is that the case marks the end of your relationship with your spouse. In fact, this could not be further from the truth. Whereas your marriage is ending because of the divorce that does not mean that your relationship with this person is coming to a close. Rather, the most important parts of your relationship with this person are continuing. This would be your parenting relationship with him or her.

Your court orders define the nature of your relationship with your child and your co-parent. This is something that is extremely important to make note of. For families like yours who are considering a major relocation this is something to examine closely. Presuming that a relocation either is or is not possible without looking at your court orders Is like putting the cart before the horse. Familiarize yourself with your court orders and always keep a copy handy. If you are having problems understanding your court order, please contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan today.

Relocating before a court order is in place

Court orders establish whether a relocation is possible in your current circumstances. For those of you who are sure court orders are in place then it pays to be familiar with those orders. However, some of you reading this blog post may not yet have been to court. In that case you should know that relocating with your child is possible. Let’s consider a hypothetical situation involving relocation to illustrate this point.

Consider a situation involving you and your child. Your child’s father moved out of the house two months ago and rarely sees your child at all. Your child enjoys spending time with him, but the reality is that he does not make much time for your child right now. As such, you do not see much harm in moving with your child to San Antonio. This is where you are from originally and you have family and job prospects there. Everything makes sense as far as moving to this new location.

In this type of circumstance there is nothing stopping you from moving. By the same token, there will be nothing stopping your co-parent from doing the same. Preventing a move like this before you go to court requires action. Filing a divorce or child custody lawsuit comes first. Then, requesting temporary orders is the next step. This can prevent a relocation before a family court judge is able to rule on the subject.

What are temporary orders?

Temporary orders are orders that go into place during a family law case. Temporary orders can be agreed upon by you and your spouse in negotiation. Both of you work together to come up with temporary orders that suit both of you and your children. These temporary orders are in effect until final orders can be negotiated upon. Or a court may order temporary orders if you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement. In any event, temporary orders form the basis for your behavior during a family law case. 

Temporary orders can change behavior during a family law case. Whereas your spouse may have chosen to relocate with your children temporary orders may put a halt to that. Temporary orders also establish the payment of child support and other conditions during the case. And duties are also established through temporary orders.

Since temporary orders are so important to a family law case many people higher an experienced family law attorney to pursue a case initially. A family law attorney knows how to assist in the negotiation of temporary orders. An attorney is also able to craft a strategy designed to help you accomplish your goals in a hearing. Contacting an experienced family law attorney with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan offers a tremendous benefit both now and in the future for your family.

Time is always moving- are you?

The longer you wait to obtain temporary orders in a relocation case the less likely you are to accomplish your goals. Simply put, waiting for your coparent to move with your child before doing anything it’s a tremendous mistake. Rather than allowing your co-parent to dictate the terms of your case to you, consider moving forward temporary orders. Not only can this keep your child close to you, but it can avoid many bad outcomes associated with relocation.

Family law attorneys specialize in helping guide people in difficult circumstances. The decision of whether to move with your family is one that you should not take lightly. Certainly, if family law court will take seriously your request. The potential impacts on your family and children are significant. Not only that, but your happiness is also a consideration for you, as well. There is a lot to think about currently. Having a plan and being intentional matters a tremendous amount.

Whether you have a plan, or not, time is moving quickly in your case. The longer you take to create a plan for yourself the worse your options may become. On the other hand, the sooner you have a well thought out plan the more options may be available to you. In considering all these factors you can rely upon an experience family law attorney to help you sort through everything. Arriving at options which are best suited for your child is of the utmost importance.

Questions about the material contained in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan    

If you have any questions about the material contained in today’s blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultations six days a week in person, over the phone and via video. Interested in learning more about how your family is impacted by the material in this blog post? Contact us today.

Categories: Relocation, Family Law

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