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One state sets legal precedent in custody relocation case

Texas parents who go through a divorce are often faced with a number of serious decisions when it comes to sharing parenting duties. For some, a drastic change in financial circumstances creates an additional burden of stress, as does the need for custodial parents to find safe and affordable child care. Those tensions often lead a parent to seek an out-of-state move. That is not a simple or easy matter, however, when the other parent wishes to block such a relocation.

One state recently set legal precedent on the matter of relocation when a court allowed a child to move to another state with her father, against the wishes of her mother. In that matter, the mother had worked for some period of time as an overseas contractor. During those absences, the father took care of the child. When he wanted to move to the state where his family lives and where he could find work as a nurse, the mother fought against that change.

A lower court ruled in her favor and gave the mother primary custody of the child. On appeal, however, the court reversed that decision and placed custody with the father. He will now be allowed to move with his daughter, although the court requires that the girl be given a transition period to adjust to the change.

The outcome of this case was anything but certain, as similar rulings regarding relocation have not been consistent. That is true in states across the nation, including Texas. When a parent wishes to relocate with his or her child, or seeks to stop the relocation of the other parent, it is necessary to take an aggressive legal stance on the matter and to be prepared to present a compelling case to the court.

Source:, "Court decision could make it easier for parents to relocate", Sheila Burke, March 17, 2017

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