Protecting Your Family's Future

Can I Stop My Spouse From Moving Away With Our Child After Our Divorce?

In the best of all possible worlds, the two parents would realize it’s in the best interest of the child for the parents to live near to one another. This would provide a minimal amount of dislocation as the child transitions from his two homes. However, modern life is not all that simple.

Sometimes a spouse remarries and the new partner is living in another state. Sometimes the ex has a great job or educational opportunity, or extended family to help support the family, but in another state, or even country.

How do you, as the other noncustodial parent, stop the spouse from moving away with your child? The bottom line is that your child’s parent must obtain legal agreement in order to move to another state. This is called relocation. And if your child’s other parent does move without getting a legal agreement, including your agreement, then this could be cause for a reopening of the custody issue altogether.

Judges will only grant relocation with good reason, such as the ones listed above. However, they also take into account whether the move will inhibit the ability of you and your child to continue to have a strong parent-child bond. Family law courts these days believe that both parents can play an integral role in the parenting of the child and that it is in the best interest of the child to have both parents actively n the picture, unless one parent is deemed legally unfit.

With the advent of technology like Skype and other virtual means of communication, parenting from a distance has become, well, let’s say, easier than, say, even 10 years ago. There are ways for you to continue to be actively involved in your child’s life even if they are far away physically. It’s not ideal, but it still allows for you to connect.

Family law judges will look at issues that include how much time you spend with the child now, whether you are involved on a day-to-day basis with your child, whether the other parent can manage to help pay for costs of travel so that your child can still be actively parented by you, and whether such a move will make it a financial hardship for you to ever be with your child.

If the parent is moving away because they don’t want you to parent the child, this is not a reason. Indeed, this may potentially be a cause for the other spouse to seek a custody modification because parenting in a way that seeks to drive a wedge between a child and the other parent is not in keeping with the best interests of the child.

Questions About A Spouse Moving Away With Your Child? 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.

Relocation After Divorce

Relocating after divorce is possible, but you must obtain written permission from the child’s non-custodial parent or permission from the courts to make a move. And you need to have good reason to make the move.

Courts will always be looking at a potential move from the perspective of what will foster a continuing parent-child bond with both parents. They want to make sure that the move will not actually harm the child in any way. Moving away because you want to keep your ex from your child won’t work.

The courts recognize that changing life circumstances after divorce sometimes warrant a move. For instance, a parent may have the opportunity for a better career in another state, or the custodial parent is remarrying someone from out of state, or enrolling in a college training program not available in New Jersey.

The standards for parental relocation are complex and this particular area of law is relatively new and continually changing. Among the many factors considered are:

  • the nature of the child’s bond with each parent
  • the extent to which each of the parents, and other important adults in the child’s life, are involved with the child
  • the child’s age and ability to make a healthy transition
  • the impact that the move will have on the resources of the child and the parent
  • the way that the moving parent proposes to help the other parent continue to foster a strong parent-child connection.

Moving a significant distance away from your child’s other parent can make it difficult to continue to maintain a strong parent-child bond with the noncustodial parent. However, there are ways to be creative with parenting time schedules when seeking a relocation. Perhaps the noncustodial parent could have the child for longer blocks of time during the year. Additionally, technology such as Skype and other video chats allow parents to literally be virtually in the same room as their child, no matter where they are in the world.

Please note that your child’s other parent can challenge you on the basis of the move being in good faith and also if he or she believes that the move will be detrimental to the connection with the child.

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. If you have questions about getting or paying child support, we can give you advice that will help you decide how to proceed. For an initial assessment and consultation regarding default and uncontested divorces, contact our family law firm online or call our office at (281) 420-8020, at a reduced fee of $50.

A Look at Parental Alienation Syndrome

Even though the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook, CT, is over, those who remain live and grieve are still feeling the effects.  Particularly, things such as photos, memorabilia and memories will remain internalized.  This will transform over time into an internal aching that never really goes away.  More frequent and common violence on children leaves in question the idea of Parental Alienation Syndrome which is fast becoming a major problem in our country.  This syndrome arises when a noncustodial parent is made out to be a “bad person” and deprived of his/her child at the decisions of a custodial parent.  As a result, the children are brainwashed by the custodial parent.  They are told that the alienated parent has left them and abandoned them.  See more here.

In an article and study written by Dr. Richard A. Gardner in 1998 called The Parental Alienation Syndrome (Second Edition), by Creative Therapeutics, Inc., Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is defined as a childhood disorder which results from previous experience with a child-custody dispute.  As described by Dr. Gardner, it results from a programming where parents impress their theories and beliefs on a child combined with a child’s own contributions of beliefs about the “targeted” parent.   One Texas case was Ochs vs. Martinez, 789 S.W. 2d 949 which was decided by the Texas Court of Appeals in 1990.

PAS is one of many issues that arise when a divorce occurs.  That is why it is important to handle such decisions in one’s life with great care and awareness. Stewart Law, PLLC provides legal counsel to men and women in divorce and family law matters.  They have been working for more than 8 years in this field, and understand a client’s concerns about the cost of effective legal counsel. Stewart Law, PLLC works hard to find affordable solutions to reach their client’s goals. 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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