Relocating & Conservatorship in Texas

People move for all kinds of reasons, and when you’re a parent, your reasons for moving often reflect your child’s interests above your own. You may need to move closer to a new job, which can help you bring in more income and elevate your child’s standard of living; you may also wish to move to a new neighborhood with better schools or closer to your child’s relatives and a stronger support system.

If you’re the custodial parent in a sole-managing conservatorship, you may be able to move without restrictions or even obtaining the other parent’s consent or a court order permitting your move. That said, sole-managing conservatorships aren’t the norm in Texas. While they certainly exist, courts typically order them in situations involving domestic violence, child abuse, substance abuse, or absence from a child’s life.

Barring these serious scenarios, parents are typically engaged in a joint managing conservatorship in which relocation is a much more complicated matter.

Relocation with a Joint Managing Conservatorship

A joint-managing conservatorship is a custody arrangement in which parents share legal authority for making important decisions for their child, even if the child lives with one parent more often than the other.

The parent with whom a child lives most often – the custodial parent – can’t decide to move without first obtaining the other parent’s permission or a court order approving the relocation. While this may not be a serious issue when the move is within the same relative location, it can matter a lot when the custodial parent wishes to relocate to a much farther destination.

Custodial Parents Must Notify Non-Custodial Parents

When a custodial parent intends to move, they must notify both the court and the non-custodial parent of their intentions. At this point, the non-custodial parent could choose to agree to the relocation or challenge it.

A parent might challenge a move when they feel the relocation would disrupt their access to frequent and continuing contact with their child. The courts evaluate such disputes from the perspective of the child’s best interest and may approve or deny the custodial parent’s relocation on the basis of what it believes to be best for the child.

This is why custodial parents who wish to move should strongly consider their reasons for moving and consult with a family lawyer to help them present these reasons in court. If the move would overwhelmingly benefit the child, the court may be more willing to approve it.

What Happens If the Court Denies Relocation?

If the court doesn’t approve of a parent’s relocation request, a few things could happen as a result. The first is that the parent may be obligated to stay and cancel their relocation plans. If the parent wishes to relocate anyway, the court may alter the conservatorship’s time-sharing agreement to award the non-custodial parent more time with their child. It’s even possible for the custodial and non-custodial parent to flip their roles when the court doesn’t agree that relocating the child is in their best interests.

Ensuring that your child has a safe, comforting, and supportive living situation is essential. When you need to fight to protect your child in a relocation dispute, it’s essential to seek professional legal assistance.

Contact Us for Legal Assistance

At Kay Polk, Attorney at Law, we have extensive experience in family law matters, including sole conservatorship and relocation cases. Our dedicated team is committed to providing personalized guidance and support throughout the entire process. If you require legal assistance or have any questions regarding relocating with sole conservatorship in Texas, we are here to help.

Contact us online to learn more about our legal services.