When making the decision about whether or not to approve a parent’s request to relocate a child out of state, Texas courts will look carefully at the factors of the situation and make a determination based on what’s in the best interest of the child, in accordance with Texas child custody laws for moving out of state in Family Code Section 153.002.
Agreed-Upon Parenting Plans
In an ideal situation, the parents will come together, discuss the move and create a parenting plan that accommodates visitation schedules.
Should you and your ex agree upon the move and be able to devise a workable schedule for your family, your lawyer can draw up a parenting plan and submit it to the courts for approval. If the judge agrees that your plan is in the best interest of the child, he or she will write a court order to solidify and legalize the plan and supplant the initial “shared possession schedule.”
However, custody cases are rarely ideal, and when one parent wants to move out of state, the other parent often rejects the idea. If the parents cannot reach an agreement, it then will be up to the judge to hear the case, consider the applicable child custody laws and determine what would be best for the child.
Factors Texas Judges Consider When a Parent Wants to Move Out of State
Unless there is some sort of history of abuse or neglect, the court’s stance is that both parents should make managing decisions about the life of the child. This is referred to as joint managing conservatorship and simply means both parents have the right to have a say in the big events of their child’s life (such as move), regardless of which parent has actual physical custody.
When the parents cannot agree, the case will go to court. The judge will look at a number of factors when deciding whether or not to allow the child to move out of state, such as:
- If the move will be closer to other extended family;
- whether the move will help or hurt the child’s relationship with each parent;
- the degree of parental involvement each parent had prior to the relocation; and
- the child’s preference (for children ages 12 and older).
There are only certain circumstances in which a Texas judge may grant a request to relocate the child out of state, according to child custody laws. For instance, a judge may grant the request if the parent requesting relocation has primary physical custody and needs to relocate for substantiated reasons, such as a job offer — if she or she cannot find comparably compensated work locally — or to be close to family to help support the child.
Obtain a Custody Lawyer to Help Secure Your Relationship with Your Child
These types of cases can get ugly in a hurry. Whether you are the parent wanting to relocate or the parent wanting to stop your ex from taking your child out of the state, you’ll need to be prepared for a court battle.
It’s in your best interests to secure a local attorney to help you prepare a convincing case to present to the judge. Failure to substantiate your side of the story could damage your custody case drastically.
If you live in or near the Plano area, we invite you to contact our child custody lawyers at Warren & Migliaccio to discuss the Texas child custody laws that apply to relocation out of state. We will listen to your situation, build a strong case and work as your advocate in court so you can preserve your all-important relationship with your child. Call us today at 888-584-9614 for a free consultation.