October 19, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- During many Texas divorces, one of the most contested issues is how the parents will determine child custody. Sadly, however, even after this hotly disputed issue is eventually resolved, problems regarding child custody may still arise months, or even years, later.
For instance, it is quite common for divorced parents to disagree when one parent seeks to move out of state - or at least a great distance - with a child who is subject to a Texas child custody order. In these circumstances, the noncustodial parent often worries about how he or she will be able to spend time with the child and how the distance between them with impact their relationship.
Because of these concerns, Texas law has very specific requirements regarding the establishment of child residences during child custody disputes, and how child relocation
issues will be addressed should problems subsequently arise.
Child custody geographical limits in Texas
There are several types of custodial arrangements recognized in Texas, however, one of the most commonly used forms is known as "joint managing conservatorship" - or otherwise referred to as joint legal custody in other jurisdictions.
When divorced parents are in a joint managing conservatorship situation, they are permitted to file an agreed upon parenting plan with the court outlining their child custody arrangements. Under Texas law, this plan can include an established geographical area in which the custodial parent must maintain the child's residence. For example, the residence of the child could be limited to a particular city, county, or even the entire State of Texas.
Conversely, if parents cannot come to an agreement as to child custody, a court can enter an order designating the parents as joint managing conservators and subsequently establish a geographical area in which the child must live.
However, it is important to note that a court can also specify - or the parents can delineate in the parenting plan - that the custodial parent may determine the child's residence "without regard to geographical location."
Modifying child custody agreements
In circumstances in which a child's residence has been limited to a particular region, a parent cannot move outside of that region without first seeking the permission of the court, which is often done by filing a motion to modify child custody in Texas
. Essentially, this means that a parent cannot just pick up and move with a child who is subject to a child custody agreement.
Alternatively, even if the child custody order permits the custodial parent to determine the child's residence without regard to geographical location, the noncustodial parent can attempt to modify this order if the custodial parent is attempting to move with the child. Basically, the noncustodial parent can stop the move by claiming that circumstances have "materially and substantially" changed since the child custody order was entered and that it is in the best interests of the child to modify the order.
Ultimately, the question of child relocation in Texas is a very fact specific one - meaning the outcomes of such situations are heavily dependent on the particular circumstances. Consequently, if you are currently involved in a child relocation dispute, it is often best to seek the counsel of an experienced child custody attorney. A skilled attorney can review the facts of your case and outline what your rights are options may be given your situation.
Article provided by Richard T Bell & Associates PC
Visit us at www.rtbell-law.com