Dallas, TX asked in Child Custody, Divorce and Family Law for Texas

Q: Joint custody after out of state move.

Last year a California Court ordered a joint 50/50 custody "agreement" for our child. I have since moved to another state and am currently waiting on the next mediation and subsequent custody hearing this fall. In the meanwhile I would like our child to go to school with me in the new state so that they can experience the schools here to be better informed of what place best allows them to thrive. Am I allowed to take my child out of California? My ex has had our child for the past two months even though we are supposed to have week on week off custody. Can I pick up our child and enroll them in school in the state I live in for the next two months until the next custody hearing?

1 Lawyer Answer
John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
Answered
  • Frisco, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: It depends on the language of your custody agreement or order. It is typical for there to be a geographic restriction, but that is not always the case. It is typical for there to be language addressing the rights of each parent with respect to education. It may give one parent the sole right to make educational decisions. It may require both parents' consent to change the child to another school or school district.

One downside to moving far away is that it is usually presumed that the parent who moved will pay any increased cost for the other parent to exercise his/her periods of possession. The assumption is that the parent will figure that increased cost into the equation when deciding whether to move even when it involves a job transfer. While the court can make other orders, be prepared to bear the sole cost of airfare so your ex can see your kids.

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