Texas’s Relocation Law For Military Families And Child Custody

You will have to deal with moving if you are a member of a military family. Moving across the country or perhaps the world is frequently required for PCS. It’s an essential and unavoidable aspect of life in the military. However, when you and your spouse decide to divorce because things are no longer working out, things get much more difficult.

When a military member is transferred out of state, it significantly affects child custody. Having a court sign a Decree of Divorce, which includes your parenting strategy if there are kids involved, is the last step in a divorce process. Geopolitical limits are a common feature of divorce decrees in Texas. Orders from SAPCR present the same problem (Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship). Geographical constraints are frequently determined by the county where the children reside, the county where the order was signed, and the counties bordering that county.

Relocation outside of the state and child custody

If your family is a military one, your orders may already cover relocation. If they don’t, on the other hand, you will be handled in court just like any other family. The parent who has the sole authority to choose the children’s principal residence (what everyone refers to as “custody”) cannot arbitrarily decide to relocate the children outside of a predetermined geographic area. The youngster would have to stay behind if the parents moved by themselves. The youngster could only be moved by asking for a change to the Decree or SAPCR order.

Trying to Change the Orders of Custody

You can negotiate with the court and the other parent of your child to change the existing custody arrangements if they are already in place and do not include a clause relating to military relocation. However, before you choose to apply for a modification, there are a few things you should be aware of.

  • Federal rules are not normally used to regulate custody orders, thus the court’s decision, if you ask to move with your child, will be based on the applicable state custody statutes.
  • When requesting to relocate while maintaining custody of your children, some jurisdictions ask you to demonstrate how the move would benefit your children, while others may demand evidence of compelling reasons for the relocation.

Relocation lawsuits make up the majority of trials and jury trials since they are frequently fiercely fought. The other parent might not consent to the child(ren)(ren)(s) moving to a different state or country. The restriction is often eliminated initially if the other parent relocates outside of the region. In these challenging and complex situations, the parent who wants to relocate the child must demonstrate that doing so is in the child’s best interests.

Adjustments to parenting arrangements when the primary custodial parent is deployed

All active duty service members, reservists, and members of the National Guard are protected under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) while performing their duties. The protection starts the day the service member reports for duty and typically lasts between 30 and 90 days after discharge. SCRA has wording stating that courts cannot refuse service members’ child custody based on military deployment.

In particular, the SCRA allows you to:

  • If your military duty materially impairs your capacity to proceed with your custody case, request a stay or postponement of the court or administrative procedures.
  • When you submit a written request for this protection, you’ll automatically receive a 90-day stay of the proceedings; any further time is up to the judge, magistrate, or hearing officer to provide.

This means that you can exercise your rights under the SCRA to postpone the hearing if your spouse tries to amend the child custody arrangement while you are gone.

A military parent’s deployment does not automatically give the court the right to permanently alter custody without the consent of the parents and anybody other designated as a conservator. However, either parent may request a temporary order changing custody while the other is deployed.

The other parent will normally be given temporary custody in this situation as per the court’s preference. The military parent’s nominee must be the court’s second choice if living with the other parent is not in the child’s best interests. A person appointed by the court would be the third option.

Additionally, the court has the authority to temporarily alter visitation and child support. For instance, the court may temporarily switch who is responsible for paying child support. A designated individual, such as a grandmother or stepparent, may also be permitted to see the child while the military parent is abroad if the military parent requests it in court.

The temporary orders expire when the military deployment does.

Ask for Assistance When Handling Child Custody During a Military Divorce

Divorce is never simple, but it can become even more complicated if one or both of the partners are serving in the military. It’s crucial to comprehend how Texas’s military divorce regulations could impact your household.

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