Parents who are under a child custody order may have to move from the area for any number of reasons.
Often, a new job opportunity will require a parent to leave the area, and possibly the state.
In other situations, a parent may deal with a serious family or personal issue, or the child might need the move for some reason.
But if they are subject to a child custody order, the parent doesn’t have the same freedom as other Texans to move wherever they want. A parent who is under a child custody order has legal obligations and will have to check with the court and the other parent before they can move.
A parent should review their court orders before trying to move
The first step any parent should take before moving is to review their child custody order. Some custody orders contain instructions about a geographic restriction, but others do not.
The custody order could include important information about what a parent must or must not do before moving. A parent will need to follow their order with respect to moving. If they need to try to change the order, or if they have questions, they should speak with an experienced family law attorney.
Texas law requires custodial parents to notify the other parent of a move
If there is a geographic restriction on the child custody order, the parent who is seeking the move must request a modification to the order. Texas law requires that the parent who wishes to modify a child custody order file a petition with the court, and give notice to the other parent that they are seeking the change.
If the other parent does not object to the move, then the court will generally approve the modification, but if the other parent does object, then the parent who wants to move must prove that the move is in the best interest of the child. Doing so may require the parent to present evidence in a court hearing.
This isn’t always easy, but it can be done with skilled legal help.