With divorce comes new opportunities, however some may be limited by location when you have children. When both parties to the divorce equally seek the custody of children, there are options to agree or litigate the issue of who gets primary custody and the right to determine where the child lives. After the divorce, when a parent wants to relocate outside Texas or in state but in a distant county, the matter must be brought before the court where the parties were divorced. The body of law controlling the custody and residence of children is based on what is in the best interests of children.
General presumptions about joint custody in Texas
In Texas, what many refer to as joint legal custody is called Joint Managing Conservatorship. It is common in many states, including Texas, that as a matter of law and policy, joint custody is in the best interests of children. The “Best Interest” standard is a set of factors used by the courts in determining which parent will be the custodial parent, who may also have the right to decide where the child will live.
When both parents are seeking custody of children in a divorce there will be a determination of which parent will be the primary parent and which will have visitation time. This can be decided by the parties in an agreement known as a parenting plan, or if there is no agreement, the court may use its discretion to grant primary custody to one parent. In either the parenting plan or the decision of the court, the divorce decree should state which parent is the primary parent, the one who has the right to determine where the child is to live.
Seeking to move a child out of Texas or to a distant county after divorce
If after your divorce there is a reason you may want to move outside of Texas or a distant county, your divorce decree should contain the language and limitations of what is allowed, whether your decree came from an agreement or the decision of the court. If you are the primary parent you may have the right to move with your child across Texas but not out of state to Oklahoma. It all depends on your decree.
If you want to move for a new job opportunity, for example, the other parent has a right to receive notice and a hearing to determine if the move will be allowed, either agreed by the parties and/or with the consent of the court. At a hearing requesting an allowance to move the child, the court will apply the best interest standards and will hear your arguments on compelling reasons why your request should be granted.
At Scroggins Legal, we have more than 20 years of experience with family law cases in Dallas, Collin and Denton Counties. When you retain our firm, you can trust that your case is in the hands of a highly skilled, dedicated professional. We understand the unique challenges of a high value divorce case, and more importantly, have the knowledge and experience you need on your side. Call us today, to learn more about Texas divorce and family law.
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