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Factors a court considers before Allowing Relocation of Custodial Parent

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  • Factors a court considers before Allowing Relocation of Custodial Parent

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Any court in Texas will not allow the relocation of the custodial parent together with a child unless there is a very good reason to do that. After a divorce, the children are worst affected. Their parents are not talking to each other, they are getting ridiculed in school, they suddenly have to adjust to living with one parent – it is all so hard on them! Relocating might not be in the best interest of the kids. You are taking them away from their friends just after they have lost their father/mother. Some parents are just vengeful. They want to punish their divorced partners by denying them regular visits with their kids. Knowing this too well, the court uses the following criteria before allowing relocation.

What is the reason for moving?

If the reason is that the custodial parent has just gotten another job in another location, then the court may consider the relocation. If the non-custodial parent is physically and emotionally abusive, the court may also consider the move. However, frivolous reasons such as a change of environment will be dismissed with the contempt they deserve. A relocating parent must give a good reason why they want to move. It is important you ask your Houston divorce lawyer whether your petition will be allowed. They usually know even before they get to the hearing whether a petition will be allowed or disallowed.

Needs and the Age of the Children

Are you taking them away from their school? Is it because they have poor health and you are seeking warmer weather? Are the kids too young to be moved around at the behest of their parents? These are some of the queries the court will ask itself before allowing a petition. The psychological needs of the child will be analyzed by a professional to determine whether the move is in their best interest.

Closeness to Relatives

Most divorces are a painful experience. People – and especially children – need to be close to familiar faces and relatives that have their best interest at heart. A court may allow a move that takes the children to a place where they will have a lot of support network. Aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins and friends are very important for the child during the normalization period. This psycho-social support networks are also in the interest of the divorcee. He/she will find moral support, financial support and empathy, factors that are necessary to heal the bruises acquired during a divorce.

Does the Child Need the Presence of the Non-Custodial Parent?

If the non-custodial parent has been close to the children, the court will disallow the relocation. No matter how valid your Houston divorce lawyer argument might be, the court cannot be unfair to the other spouse just because you have reasons to move. In such cases, it is important to plea with the non-custodial parent to allow the move. Otherwise, the court will not open itself to additional petitions of unfairness and injustice. Agreement is the best course of actions if the child loves the other parent, and vice versa.


Michael Busby Jr. is a Divorce, Family Law, & Houston Divorce Lawyer,  who practices in Harris County Texas and the counties that surround Harris County, Texas. He has been in practice for over 11 years and has tried over 100 cases.  He is familiar with the policy and procedures of the Harris County Texas Divorce Courts.   Our office is open until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for working folks.


Michael Busby Jr.

2909 Hillcroft Suite 350

Houston, Texas 77057

(713) 974-1151

Visit me on the web at www.busby-lee.com