Protecting Your Family's Future

Can I Move after My Divorce?

Relocation after Divorce in Texas—What are the Limitations?

Moving boxes in empty roomUnder Texas law, when parents divorce with minor children, the court establishes what is known as “managing conservatorship,” formerly known as custody. In most instances, the court awards joint managing conservatorship, consistent with the state’s stated objective of keeping both parents involved with the life and upbringing of the child. Achieving that objective can be complicated, even when both parents live in proximity to each other. But what if one of the parents seeks to move, for work or for any other reason? Are there restrictions on a custodial or non-custodial parent’s ability to relocate after a divorce?

Obtaining Permission of the Court

As a general rule, the court order in a divorce prohibits the custodial parent (known now as the “primary parent”) from moving outside a certain area without permission of the court. The area specified is customarily the county in which the child lives and all contiguous counties.

Even if your order does not clearly address relocation, you must provide notice to the non-custodial parent if you plan to move and take the minor child with you. The non-custodial parent has a right to challenge the relocation and may ask the court to schedule a hearing to resolve the matter. In making its decision, the court will give priority to the best interests of the children. As the custodial parent, you will have to show good reason to move—a better job or to be closer to family are both common reasons. However, you will still need to demonstrate that it will be in the best interests of your minor children to relocate.

Contact Us

At the law office of Linda Stewart Law, PLLC, in Baytown, we bring more than 8 years of experience to clients in south Texas. To learn how we can help, call our office at 281-420-8020 or contact us online.

We offer an initial consultation at a reduced fee of $50. We accept credit cards and will set up a payment plan, if appropriate. Our office is open Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., and until noon on Fridays. Evening and weekend appointments can be arranged upon request.

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