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Child custody cases complicated by tough economy

Divorced parents in Texas and elsewhere in the country are finding it more difficult to follow child custody arrangements because of the tough economy. Divorced parents today who are offered a job in a new location have to weigh the choice against the obligations of their current child custody arrangement and possibly make a relocation request.

Over half of the members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers have cited an increase in the number of child custody cases that involve relocation requests filed by parents who need to relocate. The vast majority of members, 85 percent, have also noticed an increase in divorce settlements that involved complications over housing debt. The noted differences in the family law world have occurred over the last three years.

According to the president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers the effects of divorcing couples' housing debt are creating more complicated circumstances for divorce and a greater need among parents to move. The rise in child custody relocation requests is linked to the necessity to pursue new employment opportunities and to be closer to a new partner.

Though there has been an increase in the number of child custody relocation requests over the last five years, less than one quarter of attorneys have seen an increase in the number of approved child custody relocation requests. Sixty-six percent of attorneys say they have not seen a change in the number of approved relocation requests over the last three years. For the most part, parents will try to do the best they can with what they have during these tough times.

Source: The Sacramento Bee, "Struggling economy complicates divorce and child custody cases says survey," Sept. 27, 2011

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