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New Job, New Child Custody Arrangements

A new job can lead to a variety of life changes. For divorced and single parents, one of those changes may be a shift in child custody arrangements. A new job may require a greater time commitment or a different schedule altogether. Sometimes, a new job may even require a move to a different city, state or even country.

If you have been hired at a new job and need to modify your child custody schedule accordingly, here are some things to keep in mind:

The Best Interest Of The Child Is Still The Standard

Conservatorship, the Texas legal term for custody, is driven by the best interest of the child standard. This is true when arrangements are initially made, and it is true in the event of a modification.

Petition To Modify The Parent-Child Relationship

If you want to make a change to a divorce decree, paternity decree or final order in the suit affecting the parent-child relationship because of your new job, you will need to ask the court to make a change via a petition to modify the parent-child relationship. You will need to show that your new job has created a material or substantial change in circumstances and that changing the child custody arrangements is in the child's best interest. There is a very specific process that you will have to follow. If the other parent does not agree to the changes, a dispute may arise.

Many child custody orders come with geographic restrictions that need to be kept in mind or overcome when considering a work-related relocation. Relocation requires that you provide the other parent sufficient notice, and the parent has the right to challenge the relocation request. This could result in a relocation hearing.

Make It Official

Perhaps you and the other parent get along and you have both agreed to make changes to fit your new work schedule or location. Even if the two of you have worked out new arrangements on your own, it is important that you make them official. This is for your own protection, as failure to do so could result in you being in violation of the previous order or even leave you open to parental abduction charges if you move away.

Disputed Child Custody Modifications

Requests to modify conservatorship arrangements can lead to heated battles. If the other parent does not want a change of schedule or wants to prevent you from relocating with your child, it will be critical to prove that the steps you want to take are in the child's best interest. In the event of a move away, for example, you will need to show that diminished time with the other parent is outweighed by other benefits that your child will experience from the relocation, such as access to better schooling or being closer to extended family.

Work With An Experienced Attorney

The child custody modification process is complex, and missteps can prove time-consuming, costly and even potentially jeopardize your relationship with your child. By working with an experienced attorney, you can be confident that you have fulfilled all of the legal requirements and that your relationship with your child is protected. At the Law Office of Randy Michel, we are committed to guiding parents through this complex process.

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