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What must I do to relocate with my child to another state?

If you are a divorced parent living in Texas, you may be in for a hassle if your employer decides to transfer you to another state. Your divorce decree and/or parenting plan may contain a geographical restriction that prevents you from moving beyond a certain distance from your current home without court approval. If so, the Texas Family Code, Section 153, requires you to obtain a judge’s permission before you can relocate.

If your former spouse consents to your proposed move, the judge likely will give his or her permission without the necessity of a lengthy court hearing. If your former spouse objects to your relocation, however, both of you will need to go to court and present evidence supporting your respective positions. For you, that means presenting compelling evidence as to why your proposed move is not only in your best interests, but also those of your child(ren).

Your child’s best interests

Texas has a strong public policy regarding children and families. In all court actions where a child is involved, including your post-divorce relocation, the judge will consider all factors so as to best accomplish the following three goals:

  1. Ensure that your child continues to live in a safe, stable environment where he or she can thrive
  2. Ensure that you and your child's other parent continue to share parenting responsibilities and spend as much time as possible with your child
  3. Ensure that you and your child's other parent will continue to have regular contact with your child

While this information should not be taken as legal advice, it can help you understand the Texas post-divorce relocation process and what to expect.

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