I Have Joint Custody with My Ex – How Can I Move Our Children from Texas to California?

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“My Ex and i have joint custody with our 10 year old son but i got granted manager conservator in this custody battle , i am planning to relocate from Texas to California and of course take my 2 sons with me.How can i gain sole custody into taking my 10 year old son with me?”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

I’m not an attorney in Texas, so you’ll have to fill in the gaps with an attorney there. The language of your divorce decree may provide specific language about the county of residence for your children, so that is where I would start. I know move-away cases are rarely easy for parents, and nearly always traumatic for children. Texas believes that frequent and continuing contact with both parents is good (TX Family Statute 153.001(1)), and they will apply a “best interests” standard when rendering a decision (TX Fam. Stat. 153.002). It is unclear from your quetion whether you are sole managing conservator or if you are joint managing conservator.

Unless limited by a Court order, a sole managing conservator has the exclusive right to determine the residence of a child (Texas Fam. Stat. 153.132(1)). Even if you are joint, though, there should be a designation of which party makes the residential or geographic decision (TX F S 153.133(1)). These rights are subject to modification, and unless you and the ex agree to the move (and you will certainly need to give notice of your intent to move), expect him to file for a modification if he believes he has grounds (TX F S 156 et seq.). If you are specifically not able to move away based on your divorce decree, then you would be the one seeking the modification to allow the move away.

There are suggested visitation schedules in the Texas Code, and travel expenses for visitation will be an issue. The Court will look to your children’s best interests, and I hope you do, too.



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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.