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Texas Relocation Attorneys

Relocation of a Parent with Custody

You have visitation rights to your children with your ex-spouse or ex-partner though you don’t have “custody.” Though many people use the word “custody” quite loosely, it is a word that people typically use to describe the parent that has the right to designate the child’s residence. In other words, the parent with custody is the parent that the child lives with primarily. What happens if you are exercising visitation that the court awarded you but then your ex-decides to move to another city? What if they are planning on moving out of the state or even out of the country? This happens quite often, especially if there is no prior court order specifically forbidding it.

To learn more about this complicated area, contact the Texas custody lawyers at Walters Gilbreath, PLLC. We have three convenient office locations in Houston, Austin, and Dallas.

What if the Custodial Parent Wants to Move?

Texas law encourages parents to have equal access to their children. Family law court orders concerning child custody often require the custodial parent to live in a certain geographical area, generally, the county where the children currently reside or even possibly the adjoining counties. Additionally, the custodial parent is expected to allow the noncustodial parent maximum visitation time with the children.

Custodial parents (i.e. parents with “custody”) who need to move out of the designated area must give the noncustodial parent at least 60 days written notice of the move and petition the court for permission. If the noncustodial parent does not object to the move, the parents need to file a document with the court stating they both agree to the move and outlining how visitation will be conducted.

If the noncustodial parent objects to the move, the court will have a hearing where both sides present evidence to support why the move should or should not be allowed. The parent who wants to relocate must show there has been a “material and substantial change in circumstances” since the prior order and there are compelling reasons for the move. This may include relocation for a job or to be nearer other family members that can help care for and support the children.

The court will consider, among other things:

  • The compelling circumstances for the relocation;
  • How disruptive the move will be for the children; and
  • What influence the relocation will have on the children’s education, extra-curricular activities, relationship with other siblings, step-siblings or grandparents.

The court bases its decision on what is in the best interest of the children. If the court believes the custodial parent wants to move in order to disrupt the relationship with the noncustodial parent, the court will deny the request to move.

If you are a custodial parent who needs to relocate, or a non-custodial parent who objects to the relocation of the custodial parent, Texas family law attorneys experienced in custody issues can help.

Call (844) 451-1220 to schedule a consultation with Walters Gilbreath, PLLC.

  • Brain Walters and Jake Gilbreath both worked on my divorce case which resulted in a very favorable outcome. I recommend Brian and Jake since they are both very experienced and knowledgeable. Questions asked were almost always answered the same day. I highly recommend this law firm.

    - Michael V.

  • Brian and Jake listened carefully to my situation. They prepared all appropriate court documents and filed them the next day. Their staff was pleasant to deal with and very organized. Although I was under a great deal of stress from my spouse's emotional abuse, their prompt and appropriate legal ...

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  • Great law firm. Very professional. They fought for me and my son. I am pleased with my case. I will highly recommend this law firm. Thank you.

    - Ogechi

  • Mr. Walters has been a lifesaver for me. My ex-wife kidnapped my children and the police would not help me recover them using my custody order. I contacted Brian and we were in front of a judge the next day and my children were returned within hours after that. The proceeding family court case that ...

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  • Jim is an exceptional attorney with his client's upmost interest at heart. From the beginning, through the time he brought my case to closure, Jim displayed such care and attention to detail. He will shephard you through a very difficult and emotional process with nothing but grace, compassion and ...

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  • Jake Gilbreath has been extremely helpful and impactful in my recent divorce proceedings. Initially my divorce was amicable, but degraded quickly with legal wrangling on the part of my wife's counsel. Immediately after Jake was engaged, things snapped back to a realistic agenda and a prompt ...

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