Move Away Custody
In many custody cases, the parents of a child will try to make the child’s transition from living with both parents to living with one parent at a time as seamless as possible by living near each other. The courts typically promote this as well and will usually place a restriction as to where the child may reside in the custody order. In some cases, however, one parent may have the sole right to determine where a child lives, and they may wish to move with the child to another area. While custody orders can be modified to redefine where a child may live, it can be a complicated process. If you are in a disagreement with the co-parent of your child regarding move-away custody, you should seek the assistance of a Dallas child custody lawyer to help you persuade the court that the outcome that you seek is in the best interest of your child. At the McClure Law Group, our attorneys can aggressively advocate on your behalf to help you protect your parental rights.Determining the Geographic Area Where a Child May Live
In Texas, there are generally two ways in which the geographic area where the child involved in a custody dispute may live is determined. In some cases, the parents will draft a written parenting plan and present it to the court for approval. The plan may set forth a geographic area where a child must live, or it may grant one parent the right to determine where the child lives, regardless of any geographic limitations. If the court finds the plan to be in the child’s best interest, it will issue an order approving the plan and designating the parents as conservators of the child.
If the parents do not submit a written parenting plan to the court, the court may issue an order setting forth a joint managing conservatorship, in which both parents have the right to make decisions for the child and have access to the child. Similar to a parenting plan drafted by the parents, the order issued by the court may restrict the geographic area where a child may live, or it may designate one parent as the conservator who can determine where the child lives, irrespective of any geographic location.Move-Away Custody
If one parent is deemed the conservator who may determine where a child may live without regard to any geographic area, they can move away with the child. If the other parent knows that the conservator wishes to move away with the child, he or she can petition the court to ask for a modification of the order designating where the child may live. As with any custody issue, the court will assess whether imposing a restriction on where the child may live would be in the best interest of the child prior to ruling on the issue. If the court does not grant the order, or if the parent moves with the child prior to an action to modify the custody order, it may affect the other parent’s right to access the child, and it may require a modification of the schedule with regard to possession of the child.
In cases in which the court has issued a parenting plan determining a geographic area where the child must live, and one parent wishes to leave that designated area with the child, that parent can also petition the court for a modification. Again, the court will analyze whether the move would be in the child’s best interest. Factors weighed in considering whether a move would be in the best interest of the child include how a move would affect the child’s mental and physical health, the child’s connection to the community and family members in either location, the child’s relationship with both parents and how the move may affect that relationship.
If you wish to move away with your child or believe that your co-parent intends to move in the future, you should contact an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options for protecting your parental rights.Retain a Skilled Family Law Attorney in the Dallas Area
When one parent wants to move away with a child, it often leads to a contentious battle. If you are faced with a move away custody issue, our Dallas attorneys can vigorously advocate on your behalf to help you seek an outcome that is beneficial to your child while defending your parental rights. We represent people in Dallas, Plano, Fort Worth, Garland, Irving, Richardson, McKinney, Frisco, and Rockwall, as well as other cities in Dallas, Collin, Grayson, Denton, Tarrant, and Rockwall Counties. To set up a consultation, contact us at 214.692.8200 or via our online form.