My job is relocating me out of the country and my ex-wife has agreed to let the children live with me for a couple years overseas for the experience.
I would like to prepare an enforceable court order of our agreement. What type of issues should this agreement address in order for me to properly move out of the country with my children?
I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Texas divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.
It would be best for both you to enter into a written agreed parenting plan containing provisions for conservatorship and possession of the children.
If there are currently no pleadings on file regarding modifying the conservatorship of the children, you would first have to file a Petition to Modify the Parent-Child Relationship with the appropriate court, which would most likely be the court that decided custody if the children still reside in that jurisdiction.
Once you have filed the petition, you and the mother prepare a parenting plan that meets the terms that both of you are agreeable to.
The basic terms of the parenting plan order should include language:
1. Designating you as the conservator who has the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the children without a geographic location since you will relocating with them out of the country;
2. Specifying the rights and duties of each parent regarding the children’s physical care, support, and education;
3. Includes provisions to minimize disruption of the children’s education and daily routine. This would normally be in the form of setting a possession schedule for the possessory parent who will not have primary custody of the children. Since you will be out of the county, a standard possession order would not be ideal. You may want to tailor the terms of visitation based on what is feasible and agreeable between you and the mother your children; and
4. Allocates all remaining rights and duties of each parent and whether those rights and duties shall be independent, joint or exclusive to one parent.
If the court finds that the terms of the parenting plan are in the best interest of the children then the court should grant all the terms in your order as agreed.
Since the order would be affecting conservatorship, it may have to be proved in front of the judge with the terms being placed on the record.
Keep in mind that you only need to file a pleading and order with the court if your intent is to have the agreement approved by the court and made enforceable.
This means that you and the mother of your children can entire into your own private modification agreement concerning custody of your children without court approval, but such agreement would not be considered a judgment of the court and enforceable by the court if the mother chooses to no longer abide by the order.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.
To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Texas Divorce Lawyer Ijeoma A. Ugoezi, contact Cordell & Cordell.