FACTORS THE COURT MAY CONSIDER IN LIFTING A GEOGRAPHIC RESTRICTION

In most child custody orders, the primary parent, otherwise known as the custodial parent, is given exclusive rights to establish residency of the child, though often restricted to a geographic area. A geographic restriction is an order from the court, whether included in a divorce decree, paternity decree, or an order in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship. Circumstances can change, which often necessitates modification of your court order. Lifting a geographical restriction is one example of a request for modification of a parent child relationship.

Reasons the courts may consider modifying the geographic restriction include:

• A job promotion or a career opportunity with more money, benefits or better work schedule;
• Education opportunities for the child;
• You only moved to Texas for your ex-spouse and your ex-spouse is not exercising their visitation;
• Connections to the new location (Have you lived there prior?);
• Family support in the new location and/or lack of family support in the designated geographic restricted area;
• Whether the other parent (non-primary parent) will still be able to enjoy meaningful access to the child (for example, through Facetime, video conferencing, email, etc.);
• Agreement of the parents to a allow the primary parent to relocate

Ultimately, the court will still consider the best interest of the child in making its final determination.

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