Can My Ex Move Out of State with Our Kids?
Final divorce decrees and custody orders in Texas usually contain geographic restrictions on how far a custodial parent can move with the children. Like all court orders, divorce decrees are binding and must be modified if a party wants to do something prohibited by the order. Going against a court order can result in a contempt citation or worse — losing custody of the children.
If a custodial parent wants to move beyond the geographical restrictions of the existing custody order, one way to address the issue is to notify the other parent in writing of the proposed move. The custodial parent should keep a record of proof of delivery of the notice and provide at least 30 days for the non-custodial parent to respond.
Any agreement between the parents to allow the move should be well-documented and signed by the parties and a witness.
On the other side of the coin, the non-custodial parent may object to the move. If the non-custodial parent objects, the custodial parent has to decide whether to pursue the issue in court. The custodial parent should file a petition to modify the existing custody order to alter the geographic restrictions.
If the reasons for the proposed move are compelling, the custodial parent may be able to win a court's permission to move. The custodial parent must be prepared to present evidence that the proposed move is in the best interests of the children.
In some cases, parents reach an agreement without going to court to allow the custodial parent to move beyond the geographical restrictions in the existing order. An agreement is more likely if the custodial parent is willing to make accommodations for the non-custodial parent, such as extended visitation periods, greater telephone access to the children and contributions to travel expenses to help the non-custodial parent exercise his or her visitations.
If you are considering moving or your ex-spouse is planning to move with the children, contact an experienced Conroe, Texas divorce attorney today to discuss your options. At Peterson Law Group, we stand up for your rights and protect the best interests of your children in custody and support matters. Contact us today at 936-337-4681 or 979-703-7014.