Parents in Texas may face an emotional challenge as well as legal and financial concerns if their child says he or she wants to go live with their other parent. There are several circumstances that can lead to a child wanting to change homes, from serious conflict in the home to a desire for a different lifestyle or a more attractive school option. Depending on the circumstances, there are different options available to custodial and non-custodial parents. However, absent a situation of neglect or abuse, communication between parents and children can be critical to reaching a resolution.
Parents should have an open conversation with their kids before making a spur-of-the-moment decision about a child custody change. This means taking the children’s concerns seriously, even when the parent feels hurt or upset about the things being said. At the same time, it can be important to establish ground rules for the discussion. After all, it is not appropriate to demand a custody change any time there is a dispute about normal household obligations and rules. Still, parents should think about how they would perceive the situation through the eyes of their children. A parental divorce or separation can be a challenging time for children.
People who have a positive co-parenting relationship with the other parent may be able to work out the situation as a family. In some cases, they may opt for mediation or counseling to improve the situation. In other families, of course, discussing this with the other parent may mean a swift move to family court.
Child custody changes aren’t only a serious legal issue; they are also emotionally significant for both parents and children. A family law attorney might work with a parent to reach a fair settlement on custody issues and pursue changes to the parenting plan that are in the best interests of the child.