February 27, 2024 In Family Law and Divorce

Relocating Children out of the State of Texas

Can I relocate my children out of Texas?

Depending on your situation, there are several different answers that can apply.  Given the infinite nature of factual scenarios, I’ll discuss a few of them that are most common.

1) You are currently married with no pending divorce or custody proceeding.  In this scenario, the answer is fairly simple.  You can move wherever you want because there is no court order restricting the location of your children.  However, let me add a caveat from a real life scenario.  A woman planned to move out of Texas with her children after she learned that there was nothing to prevent her from from leaving the state with the kids.  So what did she do?  She immediately moved herself and her children to Chicago.  Is it illegal?  No.  But since she was planning on getting a divorce and (more importantly) her spouse found out about her leaving the State of Texas with the kids, the husband immediately filed for divorce in Texas and requested the court to issue an emergency restraining order.  The order was granted and it required her to either return the children to Texas or move back to Texas with the children.

2) You are divorced from your spouse with a Final Decree in place that contains no geographic restrictions anywhere in the document.  In this scenario, like the first one, you are free to relocate the children without further court order.  However, just as in the first scenario, this may cause your spouse to file his own restraining order to require that you return the children to the state of Texas.

A word of caution is warranted here.  Some attorneys put geographic restrictions in unusual locations in the Final Divorce Decree so just because you don’t see the restriction under the rights and duties section of the Final Divorce Decree’s possession section, it does not mean it’s not there.  You will need to read the entire document to be absolutely certain no such restriction is in place.

3) Like the second scenario, you are divorced from your spouse with a Final Divorce Decree in place.  However in this scenario, your divorce decree contains some language that restrict the places where the primary parent can reside with the children.  Generally, the children are restricted to either the County they currently reside in or to any adjacent county to that county.  In this case, you can not move the children out of the state of Texas and you will need to seek legal help if you wish to do so.

If you find yourself in a situation where you want to move out of Texas, and your divorce decree or Final Order on Suit Affecting Parent Child Relationship (“Final Order on SAPCR”) does contain restrictions on geographic locations, you will need to look into filing a modification of the Divorce Decree or the Final Order on SAPCR.  How to go about getting a modification to ether prevent your ex from moving the children out of state or obtain the legal permission to allow you to move the children out out of Texas will be discussed in further detail.  In the meantime, if you find yourself in a situation looking at either moving out of state or preventing your ex from taking the children out of state, contact our office at 214-984-0059 to schedule a consultation.



Comment (1)

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Mar 3, 2024, 11:14 am

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