What Happens When a Parent Moves Away?
Long Distance, Interstate and International Custody and Visitation Lawyers in Houston, Texas
For Texas family courts, the goal in establishing a visitation order is to keep the child in a stable environment while fostering a nurturing relationship with both parents. Parental relocation can seriously complicate visitation arrangements and can even constitute cause to reexamine the custody agreement.
In considering the initial visitation order, Texas courts follow two sets of standard guidelines:
- Regular visitation when the parties live within 100 miles of each other
- Long-distance visitation when the parties live farther than 100 miles apart
Depending upon any restrictions imposed by the court at the time of the divorce, a parental relocation can immediately result in the imposition of long-distance visitation guidelines that may be substantially different from what you are used to. In many cases, a move-away may be prohibited under the custody agreement, resulting in serious penalties and even loss of custody.
I have to move out of state for my job …
My former spouse wants to move to a country with a different religion …
I can't afford to take off work to drive a day to pick up my child …
To obtain answers to these concerns and to discuss the specific implications of relocation on your visitation rights, please contact Conner & Lindamood today for an appointment.
Experienced Representation in Complex Issues of Parental Relocation
In most cases, if the parent who has primary physical custody moves outside the county in which the original order was issued, the long-distance visitation rules take effect:
- The parent who moved away is required to pick up the child at the end of each visitation with the noncustodial parent.
- The custodial parent is required to pay for an airline ticket or bus fare for the child if driving is not feasible.
- If the child is younger than five years old, the custodial parent is required to pay the air or bus fare for an adult to accompany the child.
Out-of-state and international relocation can create further difficulties as multiple legal jurisdictions and differing laws and standards may apply. At Conner & Lindamood, our attorneys have experience resolving complex interstate and international custody and visitation matters.
International custody disputes between parents living in the United States and a foreign country may involve the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, an international treaty ratified by the U.S. in 1988. We have a history of successfully resolving child custody matters through the provisions of the Hague Convention.
To discuss a complex interstate or international custody or visitation matter, please contact our offices in Houston today and ask for an appointment with an experienced attorney.
We are proud to also serve Galveston County, Fort Bend County and Brazoria County. Outside the Houston metro area, call us toll free at (866) 504-0857.