Richardson, TX asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Texas

Q: What are my options as the custodial parent (mother) who wants to move out of state and share 50/50 custody? See below.

My ex-husband and I share 50/50 custody of our 12 and 13 year old sons. The 13 year old has been living with his father during the school since 2021 and the 12 year old has lived with me full time, still maintaining the every other weekend agreement. While this agreement does not pose an immediate issue, I wish to make changes to our agreed upon arrangement for the 2023 school year, and following. My partner and I wish to move to Colorado in June of 2023 to pursue our Mater's and Doctorate Degrees, respectively. In order to maintain our 50/50 agreement, I offered to create a schedule for school/national holidays, breaks, and summer vacation to both children to keep a healthy relationship with their father and step mom, as well as allowing them to Face-time, text or call them whenever desired. He refused to hear anything I said, claimed I was taking the kids away from him and that I was being selfish wanting to pursue higher education and stay in a relationship with my partner.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Rafee'a S. Majeed
Rafee'a S. Majeed
Answered
  • Dallas, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: If you wish to change any Texas court order, you must file a Petition to Modify Parent-Child Relationship and set it for a hearing before the Court of exclusive jurisdiction.

You should read your current court order thoroughly because it is unclear from your post if there is a geographic restriction" include, which would prohibit either of you from changing the residence of the children without either a written agreement between both parents that is filed with the Court OR a court order modifying the geographic restriction.

Please keep in mind also that the standard in modifying a court order is the "best interest of the child". Therefore, you will need to be prepared to show (and convince) the Court how you and your partner's wish to move to Colorado to pursue your Master's and Doctorate degrees are in the best interest of your CHILDREN. Texas Court's err on the side of fostering a continual relationship between the children and both parents, so long as that parent is making decisions that are in the children's best interest. Geographic restrictions are not easy to get removed and the Court will consider a number of different factors before making a decision to remove the geographic restriction or not.

You should consult with a family law attorney in your area to get more information on modifying a Texas court order to remove a geographic restriction.

I hope this information was helpful. Good luck to you.

Penny Wymyczak-White
PREMIUM
Penny Wymyczak-White
Answered
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Houston, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: You may need to leave kids here because most judges will not let you move. You can take the visitation you offered their father.

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