In Texas, children are generally subject to a “domicile restriction” of their county and contiguous counties as to where they can live. When a change in circumstances occurs, a parent can request to change this restriction by filing a modification law suit. I have successfully assisted clients in relocating to Florida, Ohio, and Colorada. If you are interested in relocating or defending against a possible relocation, be aware of the following factors the Court will likely consider:
Why does the moving parent want to relocate?
How far is the move?
How long will it take in travel time for the child to travel to see the noncustodial parent?
How much time will the noncustodial parent lose due to the move?
How involved with the child and the child’s activities is the noncustodial parent? (This includes , but is not limited to : school, conference meetings, parties, sports, homework, peer interactions for the child, extracurricular activities)
Non moving parent’s lack of involvement.
How close is the child to extended family presently and how close will extended family be with the proposed move?
What is the difference in the schooling and medical care the child will receive?
Child’s preferences, if any.
There should be a legitimate reason for the move. Examples would include: a military person being reassigned, family breadwinner’s job is transferred, or custodial parent was here temporarily and is seeking to return to his / her prior home state. In the case of a job transfer, it is more persuasive, if you do a massive job search in your area to show the Court that you could not find a comparable job without a substantial income loss to yourself and your family.
Courts are very in tune to parents who request relocation to marginalize the other parent. These types of requests are highly unlikely to prevail.
When the move is simply across a county line, it should be relatively easy and quick to obtain. Moves across county can be hotly contested and involve almost as much work as a custody fight. However, if the relocation request is reasonable, the moving parent can formulate a new proposed visitation plan to the Court’s satisfaction by offering additional visitation time, paying for travel expenses and making other concessions that may be unique to each parent’s situation. A non-moving parent’s history of bad conduct, such as repeat family violence or false claims, can render a move viable, that would not have otherwise been considered.
I have been successful in assisting clients to move to Florida, Pennsylvania, and Colorado and across county lines. If you want to relocate or need to defend against a possible relocation, I can help you.