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Can my ex take our child out of Texas?

| May 19, 2020 | Child Custody |

After going through a divorce, you cherish the time you have with your child. If your former spouse is the primary caretaker, you only get to see your kid in infrequent visits. But now your ex wants to move out of Texas and take your child with. What happens now?

A relocation can cause a significant rift in your limited relationship with your child. But before the move happens, you may have a chance to fight the change. Depending on your original custody order, your spouse will have to prove the relocation is in your child’s best interests before going through with it.

Both parents have a say in decisions

When you and your former spouse share managing conservatorship, you both have the right to make decisions for your child’s upbringing. These include preferences for schooling, religious training or medical care. Managing conservatorship also means you choose the best location for your child to live.

A court must allow the move before you lose your child

If your ex has full physical custody or possessory conservatorship, he or she may feel that an opportunity in another state will give your child a better life. Even if that is the case, your former spouse cannot just take your child and leave.

When a move is across state lines or over 100 miles away, he or she must let you know and get permission from the court. The judge will decide what is in the best interest of your child based on multiple factors. These may include:

  • Both parents’ involvement in the child’s life
  • The child’s quality of life, and whether the move changes it
  • Modifications to visitation that give the non-custodial parent longer stretches
  • The custodial parent’s motivation for moving, and if the relocation is meant to restrict access to the child

A relocation could mean altered visitation

After reviewing all the facts, the court will rule on whether to approve the relocation. If so, the judge may include modified visitation arrangements, including scheduled phone calls or video chats between the child and the non-custodial parent.

The child’s best interests include a relationship with both parents

You don’t want to miss out on watching your child grow up. But when you don’t have physical custody, your time with your kid becomes limited. And if your ex decides to move out of state, you may worry about losing out on a relationship.

However, even if the court approves the move, you have options to fight for more digital visitation and longer stretches over holiday and summer breaks. Before your former spouse moves, you can ensure that you still have a connection to your child.