W. Tyler Moore, PC

What if your ex-spouse wants to move away?

Maintaining a constant presence in your kids' lives becomes more difficult when you and your spouse choose to divorce. The increased space placed between you and them makes being their whenever they need parental guidance almost impossible (even in situations where you and your ex-spouse are joint managing conservators). The thought of your ex-spouse leaving Houston altogether may seem downright terrifying. This may prompt you to wonder what recourse you may have should your ex-spouse choose to relocate with the kids. 

Family courts in Texas strive to issue rulings that place the best interest of the children involved above all else. It has been formally recognized that the state realizes having equal access to both you and your ex-spouse is important to your kids. At the same time, the court also wants to ensure that you kids enjoy the normalcy that comes from staying in the same school in the same community with the same friends. 

Section 153.134 of Texas' Family Code states that when appointing a joint managing conservatorship, the court shall designate either you or your ex-spouse as having authority to determine your children's primary residence. In some cases, it may mandate that residence be maintained in a certain geographic area; in others, it may be left to whoever is granted the authority. If that is your ex-spouse, they can indeed elect to relocate to another city or even another state. 

You can challenge your ex-spouse's decision to move, in which case the court will review both their motives to relocate and what scenario would be best for you kids. Ultimately, it may choose to allow the move, yet it also may choose to split the burden of ensuring that you maintain constant contact with your kids between you and your ex-spouse. 

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