Life is constantly changing, and different reasons can make a divorced parent want to move away. However, if both parents have legal custody of the child, the parent who has physical custody cannot move wherever they want to. As the relocation affects the child, the custodial parent must have the other parent’s consent or a court order to relocate. If this is happening to you, and you don’t want to be away from your child, you have the right to challenge your ex’s decision in court.
Relocation laws in Texas
People move for various reasons, such as for educational or employment opportunities. Whatever the reason, a custodial parent cannot move to an area restricted by the custody order. The courts sometimes impose these geographical restrictions on the orders to prevent the custodial parent from taking the child to another county, state or country without the other parent’s consent. However, if the noncustodial parent does not give their consent, the custodial parent can still move away if the court modifies the initial custody order.
Modifying the order
If you disapprove of the move, your ex will have to ask the court for a child custody order modification. The court will review the case and approve or deny the modification, depending on your child’s best interests. To make a decision about the relocation, the court will consider:
- The reason for the move
- How the move would affect the relationship you have with your child
- If you and your ex can afford the travel expenses
- The opportunities for your child
- The relationship you have with your child
The court will approve the order modification only if they think that the move will benefit your child.
When parents agree to the move, they must only change their parenting plan. If they disagree, the court will decide what benefits the child the most. If your ex is planning on moving away with your child, you can challenge their decision. You can even seek temporary custody of your child until the court holds the hearing regarding the petition of modification. It is your child also, and you have the right to fight for them in court.