Perhaps you are in line for a promotion at work, but this change in status will require moving to a different city.
You have conservatorship of your 10-year-old son Timmy and expect to take him with you. However, relocation will require a modification to your child custody agreement. Will the court approve?
A little background
In the state of Texas, parents can often amend a child custody order outside of court. Their changes can appear in an Agreed Order Modifying Prior Order in Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship. This is a long title for a relatively simple document that both parents sign along with their respective attorneys who then present the document for the approval of a judge. However, some changes are more major than others, such as the relocation of one of the parents.
Modification in court
A move to another city and your request to take Timmy with you is an example of a major change that requires time before a judge. The judge will want to see verification of your promotion and how you and the other parent intend to continue visitation after the move. This includes your plans for transporting Timmy back and forth. The judge will also want to hear details about your new home and neighborhood, where Timmy will attend school and the prospects for his developing new friendships.
In modifying a child custody order, the court’s priority is always the best interests of the child. The judge will want to know that Timmy will continue to have the love and support of both parents despite the new living arrangements and distance between cities. The burden of proof will be on you as the relocating parent, and you want to assure the court that your son’s best interests are your priority as well.