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How does relocation affect child custody in Texas?

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2022 | Child Custody And Co-Parenting |

Divorce brings many changes for you and your child. Over time, you and your ex will build separate lives, but you will remain connected through your child.

This can present challenges if you decide to relocate.

Can you relocate with your child?

This depends on the specifics of your custody and visitation arrangement. If the court designates you as the child’s sole managing conservator, you may not need permission from the court to relocate. However, Texas courts generally consider joint custody to be in the best interest of the child.

In addition, your custody order may restrict relocation to your county and adjacent counties. If this is the case, you must obtain permission from your co-parent or file a petition to modify the custody arrangement.

What legal obligations do you have?

If you intend to move, you should notify the other parent at least 60 days in advance or within five days of when you first learn about the impending move.

If you need permission from the court, the court must determine that your reasons for moving are legitimate. Legitimate reasons may include employment, educational opportunities and proximity to extended family. If the court believes you are moving to deny your ex access to your child, you may not receive permission to relocate.

Because relocation can affect how often your ex is able to see your child, you might need to modify your custody order. If your co-parent’s expenses increase as a result of your relocation, the court may allocate the costs in a way it deems fair to you both.

As a divorced parent, you should consider your rights and obligations carefully before planning to relocate with your child.