During the course of your divorce, you will make several important decisions regarding child custody. If your spouse receives primary physical custody, the children will spend most of their time living with that parent.
This raises the question of what might happen if the custodial parent decides to move out of state with the kids. Even if it is a career-related relocation, you might contest the decision to defend your visitation rights and protect your children from a sudden upheaval.
Understanding legal custody
Your custody agreement might name your ex-spouse as the primary physical custodian of your children, but you likely still retain a form of legal custody as well. This means that you have a certain level of decision-making power when it comes to determining what is best for your kids.
This is especially true if your agreement outlines a parenting time schedule that your ex-spouse is threatening by suggesting a long-distance move. You have every right to bring the matter before the Texas family court, where a judge will make a final decision regarding the validity of the relocation.
Revisiting your custody agreement
Though the court will ultimately make a ruling based on the child’s best interests, you might also decide to work with your ex-spouse to compromise on modifications to the custody agreement. Mediation can help you arrive at a solution that enables your ex-spouse to go through with their life change while also protecting the well-being of your children and your own parental rights.
As long as you retain rights as a parent, your ex-spouse cannot simply move out of state with the kids without the approval of yourself or the court. Even as the primary custodian, one parent does not have the right to unreasonably distance their children from a co-parent.