Challenges of Relocation and Child Custody in TexasTexas Legal News
When Texas parents get divorced, it is not uncommon for one or both spouses to move to another city, state, or country to begin life with a fresh start. However, problems may arise when one parent hopes to bring along the child who is constrained by an existing child custody order.
Under Texas Family Code, a divorced parent’s ability to move with a child depends on the parameters of the existing custody arrangement that was implemented after the divorce. Before making any decisions about relocating with your child, it is crucial that you understand the basic aspects and rules of child custody in Texas by speaking with a qualified Houston divorce attorney.
While Texas law acknowledges many kinds of custodial arrangements, the most common arrangement is joint custody, also known as joint managing conservatorship. Texas Family Code believes that granting both parents shared custody of the child or children is ultimately in the children’s best interest unless there is a proven history of violence or abuse within the family. As a result, most courts try to have both parents share custody through a joint custody agreement.
If the divorced parents are able to decide on a joint managing conservatorship agreement, then they may file a parenting plan outlining the details of their agreement in court. This parenting plan will also typically state the child’s place of residence which may be a particular geographical area in Texas such as a county or a set of contiguous counties.
If the parents are unable to come to an agreement, the court may mediate to determine a custody arrangement that is in the best interests of the child or children. In many instances, the court’s custody orders will restrict a parent’s ability to move with a child.
In these cases, settling out of court without the assistance of a skilled Texas divorce attorney could be detrimental as it may cost you control over the terms of the custodial arrangement.
Can You Relocate with Your Child After a Divorce?
A parent cannot move their child outside of the agreed geographical area in their custodial agreement without notifying the court first. Under Texas law, the parent who wants to relocate is required to seek a modification of child custody from the court in order to alter the initial custodial arrangement.
If an original custodial arrangement or parenting plan does not restrict the child’s place of residence to a specific area, a parent still cannot simply relocate with the child. Even in these cases, the moving parent must still inform the other parent first. The other parent has the right to file a motion to challenge the relocation and may even file for a temporary restraining order until a hearing can take place.
Houston Divorce and Separation Attorney
Due to the difficult and complicated nature of child custody battles, you should consult a reputable Texas divorce attorney for guidance. The Texas divorce lawyers at DeHoyos & Connolly can help you during every stage of your divorce. Contact us today at (832) 767-1207.