Choosing a Guardian

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Guardian for Your Children — Location of Residence

by Rania Combs

NB: This post is part of a series discussing factors you should consider when selecting a guardian for your minor children. You can read all these posts here.

A year ago, my husband got a new job that required us to move from the city where my children had spent their whole lives.

While the move was a bit easier for my younger children, my oldest child was devastated. He liked his school and had a handful of close friends. He worried that he wouldn’t be able to fit in. He threatened not to go with us.

Under the best of circumstances, moving a child to a different city is difficult. There is a new environment to get used to, new schools to attend, and new friends to make. But the difficulties are compounded when tragedy strikes. All of a sudden, a child is required to deal not only with the loss of his or her parents, but also being moved out of a familiar environment and away from everyone he or she knows.

Because of that, it is important to consider where your prospective guardians live, and whether moving your children to a new city or state would be an acceptable situation.

In a perfect world, your prospective guardian would live where you do. However, the reality of our transient world means this is not typically the case. Nowadays, jobs require people to move around a lot, taking us away from the family and close friends we are most likely to choose as guardians.

So should you automatically exclude a potential guardian simply because he or she lives in a different city or state? Of course not. But it is important that you consider the “big picture” that your children would have to face in the event of your death.

Your children should have a good relationship and feel secure with whomever you choose as their guardian. If in addition to leaving everything they know, they also have to live in the home with a virtual stranger or someone they don’t like, the transition is going to be significantly more difficult.

About Rania

Rania graduated magna cum laude from South Texas College of Law Houston and is the founder of Rania Combs Law, PLLC. She has been licensed to practice law since 1994 and enjoys helping clients in Texas and North Carolina create estate plans that give them peace of mind.

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