My Spouse Is Being Transferred — Can My Ex Stop Me From Moving with the Kids?
The process of moving your family to start a new job can be stressful enough, without the added complications of moving outside the geographically restricted area defined in your Texas divorce decree or custody order. These situations need to be handled carefully to avoid violating the court order and suffering potentially negative consequences.
What does your court order say about moving?
Most divorce and custody orders have geographical restrictions on moving which are intended to help both parents maintain active relationships with their children. Like other court orders, final decrees and custody orders are binding and must be followed or a parent risks being held in contempt, which can in turn weight heavily against that parent in subsequent custody proceedings.
Start by giving notice as soon as you can
If you are a custodial parent, be sure to notify the other parent in writing that you are planning to move as early as possible. Either have an attorney send the notice to your ex or send it via certified mail, return receipt requested, or using a commercial courier such as UPS or FedEx with delivery confirmation. The non-custodial parent should be given at least 30 days to respond to the notice. Keep evidence of delivery in case you need it for future court proceedings.
Try to reach an agreement about relocating with the children
In some relocation cases, ex-spouses reach an agreement. Any agreement between you and your ex on this subject should be written, signed by both parties and notarized. You may find your ex more willing to agree to the move if you make concessions such as extended visitation periods, more telephone access or committing to cover a portion of the travel expenses for exercising visitation.
If you can't agree with your ex, the next step is letting a judge decide
If the non-custodial parent properly objects to the move, the custodial parent has the option to pursue the issue in court and let a judge decide whether to allow the move. The custodial parent must present compelling reasons why the move serves the best interests of the children.
Whether you are the custodial parent or the non-custodial parent, you have rights and obligations under Texas law when it comes to relocating. For more information and a detailed explanation of the law as it pertains to your specific circumstances, contact an experienced Conroe, Texas divorce attorney today. Peterson Law Group works to protect your rights and the best interests of your children in custody, support and other family law matters. Contact us today at 936-337-4681 or 979-703-7014.