MOVING OUT OF TEXAS WITHOUT A CUSTODY AGREEMENT
A parent may only move out of state with their child with the other parent’s consent, or with a court’s permission, which will be granted only when particular conditions are met. If a parent moves without that consent, they could face serious legal repercussions.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PARENTS MOVE WITH THEIR CHILDREN WITHOUT A PRIOR AGREEMENT?
Parents who share joint managing conservatorship (joint custody) have a right to remain a part of their child’s life, including spending time visiting with their child in person. Parents who share custody have a moral and legal obligation to receive their co-parent’s permission before moving out of state with their child. In some cases, where a parent wishes to move out of state with their child, the parents may be able to reach an agreement between themselves about the move. When parents can’t reach an agreement privately, the parent who wishes to relocate must seek the court’s consent for the move.
MOVING WITHOUT CONSENT COULD LEAD TO SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES
If a parent believes that the other parent is planning to take the child out of state without consent, the non-moving parent has options under Texas law. If the parent has not yet moved, the other parent can seek a temporary restraining order preventing the move. Violating a temporary restraining order could result in fines or even jail time for being in contempt of court. In some cases, a non-custodial parent may need to pursue their custodial rights in the state in which the child is now living, rather than their original home state.