Family Law & Criminal Defense Attorney

Relocation After a Texas Divorce

When parents file for divorce in Texas, the court generally awards both parties with “joint managing conservatorship,” unless there is a history of abuse, domestic violence, or other forms of parental misconduct. Divorcing parents may create their own “parenting plan” to determine who is the primary parent (i.e., whom the child will live with) and a "shared possession schedule” that sets forth when and where each parent will spend with the child – or a judge will decide for them if they cannot reach an agreement. 

However, what if the custodial parent plans to relocate with the child? For the most part, the primary parent is prohibited from simply packing up and moving outside of the child’s current country of residence—or any nearby surrounding counties—without a court order. 

Additionally, the custodial parent must notify the other parent of the proposed move with the child. If the noncustodial parent opposes relocation, he/she may request a relocation hearing and even file a temporary restraining order to prevent the custodial parent from attempting to move before the hearing. 

At the hearing, both sides will have an opportunity to present their cases. Courts take relocation cases seriously because moving not only can moving away significantly interfere with the child’s well-being, but also the noncustodial parent’s rights. 

The following are common mitigating reasons for the proposed move: 

  • A new job opportunity with a higher salary to better support the child 

  • Being closer to family members who will help care for and support the child 

  • Better educational opportunities for the child 

  • Better medical services, if the child has special needs 

Yet, if the court believes that the intent of the move is to interfere with the noncustodial parent’s relationship with the child, then relocation will be denied. In order to obtain the most favorable outcome in court, you must hire an experienced family law attorney to protect your rights and your child’s best interests. 

Whether you are interested in relocating with your child after a divorce in San Antonio, or you wish to prevent the other parent from moving away, call The Law Office of Derek S. Ritchie, PLLC at (210) 761-4943 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free initial consultation.