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Can a child custody order prevent a parent from moving?

| Feb 18, 2020 | Child Custody

When two people have children together, but are not in any sort of romantic relationship, taking care of kids can be complicated. They may need the legal system to help them work out an arrangement for child custody. This agreement often details how to handle custody for parents who live in different places. But if both parents live here in Texas and one needs to move out of state, the existing custody order may influence that decision. Here is what parents need to know to handle this potentially difficult scenario.

If the parent who is the primary caregiver for the child, also known as the custodial parent, decides to move away, the other parent can dispute this move if it will interfere with an existing custody and visitation order. Some states require the court’s permission before a custodial parent is allowed to move, and Texas is one of those states. A judge will determine what is in the best interest of the child, which might mean forbidding the custodial parent from moving. 

Some legal experts recommend making these decisions ahead of time as part of the original custody order if at all possible. If that doesn’t happen, the custodial parent may need to demonstrate to the court why he or she wants to move. Some decide to move for a job, while others may want to be closer to family who can help care for the child. The court will also examine the noncustodial parent’s reason for opposing the move. They will also consider his or her current role in the child’s life; for example, whether the noncustodial parent consistently follows through with visitation.

No matter the circumstance, it is important to put the needs of children first. Parents who want to create or modify an existing child custody order may want to speak with a family law attorney here in Texas. This way, the best interests of everyone involved can be considered.