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Can a co-parent move out of Texas with their children?

On Behalf of | Apr 20, 2024 | Child Custody & Visitation |

Sharing custody of minor children in Texas often requires a degree of compromise and personal sacrifice. Parents may need to make concessions in order to focus on what is best for their children. For example, they may only see their children on alternating birthdays or holidays to help preserve both parental relationships for optimal long-term development. They have to agree with one another about major decisions for the children as well.

Under Texas family law statutes, there is a presumption that preserving both parental relationships is typically what is best for the children. Maintaining a relationship can become quite a challenge if one parent moves far from the other.

Does a parent in Texas need to worry about the possibility of their co-parent leaving the state and taking the children with them?

Relocations can be contentious issues

The choices that either parent makes in a shared custody scenario can affect the children and the other adult who cares for them. Often, the Texas family courts hope that parents can cooperate with each other to act in the best interest of their shared children. If one parent wants to move to a neighborhood where they can afford to buy a house or to move in with family members to save on rent, both parents could reach an agreement about how that move might alter their custody arrangements. Otherwise, the matter means going back to family court.

Any relocation far enough way to affect the parenting time of the other adult may require the approval of that parent or the courts. If the parents don’t agree and the matter goes in front of a judge, the focus is on what is best for the children. Judges look at factors ranging from the reasoning behind the move to the current relationships that both adults have with the children when they decide if approving a relocation would be the right decision given the family circumstances. A judge can’t stop a parent from moving, but they can theoretically prevent one parent from taking the children to a different jurisdiction.

Adults who understand the rules governing custody matters in Texas are in a decent position to protect their relationships with their children. Learning more about relocation requests and other common reasons for custody order modifications may benefit those who are navigating a stressful co-parenting arrangement.