What if my wife or husband tries to move the kids out of the state of Texas?
Child custody disputes following a divorce or the ending of a long relationship are among life’s most difficult and emotionally-charged situations. There are many potential points of conflict that can cause serious disturbances in adults’ and the child’s life. One such point of conflict is if one parent decides to attempt to move out of state lines with the child.
This situation can cause many complications, and the way to properly handle it will depend on the individual details of your situation and the custody agreement between you and the other parent. However, no matter the intricacies of your situation, it is likely that having the assistance of a skilled and knowledgeable attorney on your side will decrease the overall friction, ease negotiations, and give you a better chance of the result you desire.
Here at Skillern Firm, we pride ourselves on handling sensitive custody matters with compassion, sensitivity, and legal finesse. Find out how we can help you today by calling 936-213-8479.
The Ability To Change The Child’s Primary Residence Depends On The Custody Agreement
The legal implications of changing a child’s primary residence without permission from the other parent depend entirely on the type of conservatorship that has been agreed. Conservatorship is the word used in Texas child custody laws for custody.
We will explore the different potential situations in the sections below.
Relocation For A Parent With Sole Managing Conservatorship
If the court has granted one parent a sole managing conservatorship, this means that only that parent has the authority to make decisions about the child. This includes the parent’s ability to change the child’s geographic location.
If a parent has sole managing conservatorship, this is usually because the other parent has a history of domestic violence, abuse, drug or alcohol abuse, or has been deemed by the court to be a poor parent to their children in some other way – and it is in the best interest of the children to disallow this parent decision-making ability.
However, if the other parent has sole conservatorship rights, Texas child custody laws still allow you to file a Petition to Modify the custody order and put geographic restrictions in place to prevent the move. However, there is no guarantee this will be successful, and you will likely need the assistance of a lawyer to do so.
Relocation For A Parent Involved In Joint Managing Conservatorship
Joint managing conservatorship essentially means joint legal custody. In this situation, both parents will create and agree to a parenting plan. This plan will detail the duties, rights, and responsibilities of each parent.
The parenting plan should also contain details that help show which parent has the right to decide the child’s residence. It could be that both parents have a geographic restriction on how far they can move the child outside of a particular area.
As such, the best way to deal with relocation in the event of a joint managing conservatorship will vary on a case-by-case basis. If you are the primary parent and the other parent is moving out of state with the child, Texas laws are on your side. If you are the primary parent and are planning to move, you usually still need consent from the other parent – we will explore this in the following section.
If there is a geographic restriction on both parents, then negotiation may need to take place. In all situations, the help of an experienced lawyer can smooth the process and help you get the result you want.
Seeking Consent When Moving Out Of State With A Joint Child Custody Agreement
Even if the Texas courts have designated you the primary parent, you still need to seek consent from the other parent in most cases if you are planning on moving out of state.
If the other parent does not give their consent, the primary parent must then petition the Texas courts and receive court approval before moving out of state. This approval will constitute a court order that acts as a modification of the child custody order.
If the primary parent attempts to change the child’s residence and move out of state without receiving consent or court approval, the other parent is within their rights to file for a Temporary Restraining Order to prevent the move. Again, the result will be decided by court order, with the decision made on what the court finds to be in the child’s best interests.
Relocation Without Official Custody Agreements In Place
Many parents who have split up and share a child may not have official custody agreements in place. This may be the case if you agreed upon custody details between yourselves without involving the law, or if you were never married in the first place.
Parents who find themselves in this situation can still file a custody case to attempt to prevent the relocation. However, if you have no court-formalized custody agreements in place, you need to act quickly.
In this situation, seek a family attorney as quickly as possible. They will help you formalize custody agreements and negotiate to try and ensure that your child’s best interests are met in a way that minimizes family conflict and keeps the parent-child relationship for both parents intact as much as possible.
Secure Representation By An Experienced Child Custody Lawyer From Skillern Firm
If you need help with any type of custody action relating to the relocation of your child or children, the attorney team here at Skillern Firm is here to help.
Whether you need help filing a Temporary Restraining Order to prevent your children from being taken across the state lines or you need help negotiating a job relocation situation within the confines of an amicable divorce, we have the skills and experience to fight your corner while preserving the calm and relationship between your family members as much as possible.
Child custody battles are often bitter and can have a negative impact on the children involved, especially when only one parent wishes to act against the desires of the other. We are here to try to ensure that a positive relationship is maintained between all parties, in the best interests of the children.
To find out how the lawyers at Skillern Firm could help with your case, call 936-213-8479 today.