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San Antonio Parental Relocation Attorney

San Antonio parental relocation lawyer

How Does Relocation Affect Custody and Visitation Rights?

There are a variety of reasons why families may decide to pack up and move to another city or state. Parents may choose to move in order to pursue job opportunities, or a family may want to live closer to extended family members. Military service is another common reason for relocating. Texas has long been a proud supporter of the United States Armed Forces. With Lackland AFB, Fort Sam Houston, and other military installations in and around San Antonio, military relocation and deployment are a part of everyday life for many families. While moving may be a relatively straightforward process in situations where parents are happily married, issues related to relocation can become more complicated in cases where parents are divorced or where unmarried parents share custody of their children.

Children deserve to have strong relationships with their parents, and these relationships should not be negatively affected by a parent's choice to move to a new home. If a parent's plans to relocate will require a modification of child custody, they will need to request permission to relocate in family court. In some cases, the other parent may object to a relocation request, and parents may disagree about how a child custody and/or visitation should be modified. Brandon Wong & Associates is a family law firm that is well-equipped to help a parent plan for a potential parental relocation and resolve any disputes that may arise. With our experience practicing family law in Texas, we understand the nuances of the laws that affect these situations, and we can help parents determine the best ways to protect their children's best interests and reach workable agreements in these matters.

Geographic Restrictions in a Child Custody Order

When a child custody order is issued in a divorce or family law case, one parent will typically be given the exclusive right to decide where children will primarily reside. Even if parents will share equal or near-equal amounts of time with their children, granting this right to one parent will ensure that children will have a permanent home for school registration and other purposes. However, child custody and visitation orders may also include a geographic restriction. These terms will set limitations on where a parent may live with their children, ensuring that they will remain close to the other parent and providing that parent with the opportunity to have regular visitation time with the children.

Custody and visitation agreements can be creative. They should not be too restrictive or too broad, and when properly drafted, they will protect the parental rights of both parents while also providing for the best interests of the children. In cases where parents live far apart from each other, arrangements may be made for long-distance visitation, ensuring that a parent will have regular contact and be closely involved in their children's lives.

Protecting Parental Rights in Relocation Cases

Neither parent can unilaterally decide to modify a child custody or visitation agreement by moving with their children. Parents are generally free to move within the areas allowed by geographic restrictions. However, if a parent plans to move with their children to a location outside of the geographic restriction, they will be required to seek permission before relocating. In these cases, they will need to demonstrate that the move will be in the best interests of the children. If the other parent objects, the court may consider multiple factors when determining whether to grant or deny the relocation request, including the educational opportunities available to children at both locations, their proximity to extended family members, and whether modifications to child custody and visitation will allow them to maintain a close and continuing relationship with both parents.

Parental Relocation FAQs


What Are the Legal Considerations for Parental Relocation in San Antonio?

Answer: In Texas, child relocation laws may require a parent who has the exclusive right to determine a child’s primary residence to seek consent from the other parent before moving outside of a specified geographic area. Regardless of whether the moving parent receives permission from the other parent, he or she will still need to get court approval for the relocation. A parent who plans to relocate will need to demonstrate to the court that the move would be in the child’s best interest. The court will weigh factors such as the reason for the move, the child's relationship with each parent, the geographic specifics of the move, and the possible disruption the move may cause to the child's life.


How Can Brandon Wong & Associates Assist With My Parental Relocation Case?

Answer: Brandon Wong & Associates can provide invaluable assistance in a parental relocation case. Our firm will help you navigate the legal procedures, interpret court agreements, and be a champion for your child’s best interests in court. We can assist in gathering evidence to illustrate how the move serves the child's best interests without intruding on the other parent's rights. We can also help guide you through negotiations with the other parent, suggest alternative solutions, and make sure your relocation petition is compliant with Texas state law.


What Steps Are Involved in Obtaining Permission for Parental Relocation in Bexar County?

Answer: Obtaining permission for parental relocation begins with evaluating and documenting your reasons for the move, whether it is for a job, family support, or a better living situation. You can then seek approval from the non-moving parent to see whether he or she consents to the move. Whether you do or do not receive consent from the other parent, you will need to file a petition with the court. The court where you file your petition will need to be the same court that issued the original custody order. The non-custodial parent will need to be formally notified of the petition. They will then have the opportunity to respond. After a court hearing where both parents can present their arguments, the court will make a determination based on the best interests of the child.


Can a Parental Relocation Affect My Child Custody Arrangement in San Antonio?

Answer: Yes, especially if the relocation goes beyond the geographic restrictions previously agreed to. In this case, the custody arrangement may need to be modified to reflect the updated circumstances. Modifications to the custody order could include changes to visitation schedules or, in some cases, a shift in primary custody.


How Does Military Service Impact Parental Relocation Decisions in San Antonio?

Answer: Factors such as deployment and relocation can directly impact parent visitation schedules as well as parental responsibilities. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible for a parent to have full custody even if they are on active duty in the military. In these cases, the court will carefully consider factors like the child's safety and well-being and the ability of the parent to balance their military obligations with their parenting duties.


What Can I Do if My Ex-Partner Opposes the Relocation of Our Child in San Antonio?

Answer: Consult with a family lawyer, as you will need to petition the court to obtain permission to relocate. You need to be prepared to show how the move supports the best interests of the child and how the non-moving parent can still be a part of the child's life even after the relocation takes place.


What Are Geographic Restrictions, and How Do They Affect Relocation in San Antonio?

Answer: A geographic restriction refers to the specific area where the child must reside. If a child custody order includes a geographic restriction, the parent with the exclusive right to determine the child’s primary residence may live anywhere within the specified area. If you have a geographic restriction, and you wish to relocate with your child outside of the specified area, it will be necessary to return to court to modify the custody order to adjust the geographic restrictions that were set in the original order.


How Is Long-Distance Visitation Handled After Parental Relocation in San Antonio?

Answer: In long-distance visitation scenarios, it may not make sense for parents to travel far distances for visitation on a regular basis. Long traveling times can be highly disruptive to the child's life, and parents may wish to minimize the difficulties that their children will face in these situations. However, other arrangements can be made. A parent may have virtual visitation with their child through Skype, Zoom, Facetime, or other forms of technology. There may also be designated alternatives, such as sending another family member who can visit with the child on a parent’s behalf. Arrangements may also be made to have a child visit a parent for longer periods a few times a year instead of traveling long distances on a regular basis. If traveling will be the best way to maintain a relationship between a child and a non-custodial parent, the court may allocate certain travel costs between the parents.


When Can I Request a Modification of Child Custody for Relocation in San Antonio?

Answer: If there is a significant change in circumstances of either the parent or child, this may be sufficient grounds for modification to a custody order or even a parenting plan. A parent’s relocation may be considered a significant change in circumstances.


How Do You Establish What Is in the Best Interests of the Child for Relocation Cases?

Answer: To effectively establish what is in the best interests of the child, you must present compelling evidence that the relocation will improve the child's life or help you provide for the child’s ongoing needs. This may involve demonstrating the enhanced educational opportunities in the new location, the access to improved healthcare, or the fact that the new location presents a safer living environment than the old location.


What Evidence Is Needed to Support a Parental Relocation Case in San Antonio?

Answer: Any evidence demonstrating that the move benefits the child may be provided. This may include job offer letters indicating improved financial stability, proof of a better school system in the new location, or evidence of a stronger support network. A detailed visitation plan showing how the non-relocating parent will maintain a relationship with the child is also important.

Contact Our Bexar County Parental Relocation Attorneys

If you are planning to move with your children, or if the other parent has made a request to relocate, our lawyers can help you navigate this situation effectively. We will provide you with proactive advice about the steps you can take to protect your rights. If necessary, we can help you obtain a temporary restraining order in cases where a parent attempts to relocate with children without receiving permission from the court. Schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer by calling our office at 210-201-3832 or completing a confidential form online.

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