One of the sad facts about divorce is that one of the parents will decide to create a new life for themselves (and the child) in another state. This may happen when unmarried parents decide to end their relationship as well, but the unfortunate reality is the same: one parent moves on with the child, and the other is relegated to being a part-time parent.
While there may be legitimate and altruistic reasons for moving (e.g. a new job opportunity), there are a number of issues to consider before a parent may relocate. Essentially, a custodial parent must receive permission from the court before moving away from the court’s jurisdiction. If the move is to an adjoining county (or elsewhere within the county) such permission may be easily granted. However, if the move is to a different part of the state, or to another state altogether, there are a number of factors for a Texas court to closely consider.
For example, the court will examine the reasons for the proposed move and whether it will enhance the child’s quality of life. It will also review the relationship between the non-custodial parent and the child and question whether the move will leave any meaningful parenting time for the parent being left behind. Further, it may look at the custodial parent’s history of residences and balance it against how the latest move will affect the child, in terms of how the child adjusts to new surroundings.
Indeed, relocation cases are not easy to decide, and a number of factors must be balanced. As such, it is prudent to discuss relocations with an experienced family law attorney.
Source: DivorceNet.com, Child Custody in Texas: Moving the child out of state