Can the other parent relocate without a custody order?

| Apr 2, 2020 | Child Custody |

Texas custody orders prevent either parent from relocating with the child unless the other parent agrees or the court allows the move. However, you may worry that the child’s other parent will take him or her out of state before the judge makes a final custody determination.

Learn how to prevent this scenario and how to respond if it does occur.

File a temporary restraining order

Both parents have equal access to their children in the absence of a legal custody order. For this reason, you can file a temporary restraining order if the other parent takes or plans to take your children to live out of state without permission. Although a TRO is sometimes confused with a protective order, a TRO actually prevents either party from acting until the court holds a hearing. With this measure, you can legally stop the other parent from moving with the children for 14 days.

Submit the Motion for Temporary Restraining Order, Temporary Injunction and Temporary Orders form in the district court of the county where the child primarily resides. This should include an affidavit with details about why you need the order, in this case, because of the relocation plans.

File for temporary custody

Because it can take some time for the court to decide your divorce and custody case, you can file for temporary custody in the absence of a final agreement. This temporary legal order gives one or both parents the right to make decisions on the child’s behalf and establishes where the child should live. Either parent can ask the judge to bar the other from relocating without a final custody order.

When creating a final custody order, the court will consider where both parents live and the distance between their homes. Texas defaults to joint legal and physical custody as long as this arrangement serves the child’s best interests. You and the other parent must agree on a plan that indicates when the child will spend time in each home.