Protecting Your Family's Future
 

Life after Divorce — What Are Your Relocation Options?

Moving with Your Children after a Divorce in Texas

It’s not unusual these days after a divorce for an ex-spouse to want to relocate, either to take a new job, to be closer to family or just to get a fresh start. Maybe they plan to remarry and the future spouse lives in another part of the state or country.

In Texas, you can’t just pick up and move when there are minor children involved. Citing public policy that both seeks to assure that children have regular and continuing contact with both parents and that parents are encouraged to share the rights and duties of raising children, the legislature has put laws in place that allow relocation only when it is determined to be in the best interests of the minor children.

The “best interests of the children” must be established on a case-by-case basis, but courts in Texas and across the country will consider a broad range of factors when making the determination, including:

  • The age of the children
  • The reasons for (and against) the move
  • The nature of the child’s current relationship with each parent
  • The ability of the noncustodial parent to have frequent and continuing contact with the children
  • The effect a move will have on family relationships
  • The child’s extracurricular activities in the community

In most instances, the final divorce decree will prohibit the custodial parent from moving outside a predetermined area without the permission of the court. There is no set distance, as the court will look at the factors above and determine whether a move across the state or to another state will be in the best interests of the child.

Even if your divorce judgment is silent on the matter of relocation, you must still notify the noncustodial parent if you want to move away from the local area. The other parent may seek a temporary restraining order prohibiting you from moving until the court can hold a relocation hearing. At the court proceeding, you can provide information to demonstrate that moving will be in the best interests of your children, but ultimately the court will make that determination.

Questions About Life after Divorce — What Are Your Relocation Options? Custody, Divorce, and Family Law Attorney, Baytown, Texas

Stewart Law, PLLC, located in Baytown, Texas, provides legal counsel to parents involved in relocation issues, child support and custody matters, divorce, and other family law cases. If you have questions about how to stop your ex from moving away with your child, or other custody, divorce, or family law matters, we can give you advice that will help you decide how to proceed. For an initial assessment and consultation, contact our family law firm online or call our office at (281) 420-8020, at a reduced fee of $50.

Do I Need a Prenup?

Don’t view a prenup conversation as unwelcome doom and gloom on the eve of your wedding. Instead, think of it as further evidence that you and your beloved are both intelligent individuals – and that one or both of you is well on the way to serious financial success. It can be a challenge to insert some coolheaded logic into the pre-wedding months, but you and your spouse may respect each other more if you sit down together with an experienced prenuptial attorney and decide how to protect yourselves. Creating a prenuptial agreement doesn’t mean you plan to divorce; it just means you understand the basics of asset protection.

If you aren’t one of the so-called “one percent,” you may automatically assume that you don’t need a prenup. This may not be true. Better to take the time before the big event to determine whether a prenuptial agreement is warranted, since an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.

Here are some circumstances where a prenuptial agreement may be worth the ink it’s written with, even if neither or you currently are among the financial elite:

  • You are an entrepreneur with significant time and money invested in one or more ideas that have yet to come to fruition
  • You are a sports player on the verge of going pro
  • You expect a large inheritance (generally speaking, inheritances during marriage are treated as separate property even without a prenup, but if you expect a really large inheritance, you may want to consider double protection)
  • You want to protect the financial interests of children from a previous marriage
  • You suffered financial injury in a previous divorce and want to prevent history from repeating itself

If you and your betrothed decide to work out a prenup, you are far from alone. A 2010 preuptial survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers asked family law attorneys whether they had seen an increase in prenup clients, and a staggering 73 percent of attorneys surveyed said yes.

Stewart Law, PLLC, located in Baytown, Texas, has provided legal counsel to men and women in divorce and other family law cases for 8 years. We have written prenuptial agreements for many couples about to marry, and we can work with you to determine whether a prenuptial is right for you. For an initial assessment and consultation regarding a prenuptial agreement, contact our family law firm online or call our office at (281) 420-8020, at a reduced fee of $50.

Your Status Update Could Come Back to Haunt You

Two years ago, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) reported that one in five divorces used evidence from Facebook and other social networking sites like Myspace and Twitter. In February 2013, the AAML reported a newly popular source of evidence in divorce cases – dating sites like Match.com and Plenty of Fish.

One would think the lesson would be obvious. If you are married or in the middle of a divorce, stay off the online dating sites. Be cautious – and truthful – with your social media comments and status updates. Apparently, though, these are not obvious lessons to four out of five divorcing spouses.

How could social media be used in divorce cases? Here are some examples:

  • Your online dating profile says you have no children and want none. Your spouse uses it as evidence in your child custody fight.
  • The vast majority of Facebook photos tagged with your name show you at a party with a drink in hand. Your spouse uses it as evidence in her argument for limited parenting time.
  • You say you have limited income and are unable to pay spousal support but post a photo or video of your new sports car.
  • A friend tags a photo of you being intimate with a new girlfriend or boyfriend, but you dispute allegations of infidelity.
  • You claim business trips or medical appointments as reasons you are unavailable for visitation with your children, but your social media posts reveal that you were in fact on vacation or in town and not at a medical appointment.
  • You update your LinkedIn status with new employment information but claim continuing unemployment as a reason you are unable to pay child support.
  • You claim you have no problems with anger management but post frequent status updates threatening physical violence.

The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse publishes an online fact sheet regarding privacy concerns when using social media – Social Networking Privacy: How to be Safe, Secure and Social.

Stewart Law, PLLC, located in Baytown, Texas, is well-versed in obtaining and countering social media evidence in divorce cases. We have provided legal counsel to men and women in divorce and family law matters for 8 years. For an initial assessment and consultation of your case, contact us online or call our office at (281) 420-8020, at a reduced fee of $50.

 
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