In child custody cases, it is the goal of Texas courts to ensure that children have frequent and regular contact with each parent. This often involves imposing a residency restriction, which restricts a custodial parent from moving with a child outside of the county in which the case is filed or contiguous (surrounding) counties.
Residence Restrictions in Texas
Residency restrictions apply to children, and not to parents. A parent is allowed to move out of state alone, but is not allowed to take his or her child.
It is not easy to avoid a residence restriction if you are the parent who has been given the right to determine the child’s primary residence. The court’s goal in enforcing residency restrictions is to ensure that the child has frequent and continuing contact with each parent.
If you are a parent looking to relocate with your child, there has to be a compelling reason for the move in order for the courts to remove the residence restriction. The courts consider the following:
- The reason for the move: a new job, to be closer to family, etc.
- The benefits of the move for the child: educational opportunities, quality of life, etc.
- The non-custodial parent’s involvement in the life of the child
If the non-custodial parent has already moved out of the county that he or she resided in at the time of divorce, the residence restriction is automatically removed.
Paula Lock Smyth Law Offices, is thorough in presenting each child relocation case. The court’s first priority is protecting the interests of the child and attorney Paula Lock Smyth explores all angles of the case to understand the impact on the child. She can help you if you are looking to move with your child or if you wish to contest a child moving away.