Having a child is a lot of responsibility, and that continues on even after a divorce. In Texas, the default child custody arrangement is for a joint managing conservatorship with one as the primary parent. This means that both parents have a say in making crucial decisions regarding the child, although the primary parent determines the place of residence subject to the geographic restrictions imposed by the court.
That is, unless the parents come up with a mutually agreeable alternative arrangement. According to child custody lawyers on the website of Alexander & Associates in Lewisville, parents need to ensure the best interests of the child at all times. In such cases, the agreement will be subject for approval by the judge. If one of the parents has an established history of violence or abuse, the other parent will be awarded sole managing conservatorship.
Any aspect of a joint managing conservatorship agreement touches on the physical situation of the child. Typically, the primary parent is restricted to keep the child’s permanent place of residence within a certain area for practical reasons; the other parent will find it difficult to maintain a presence in the child’s life if that child is far away, and moving the child out of reach is a breach of that parent’s rights.
The primary parent cannot simply decide to move the child to an area outside the scope of the agreement. A court order would be required to allow them to do this legally if the child custody agreement is court-ordered. In a parenting plan that had been approved by the court, the other parent must at least be informed about it a reasonable time beforehand, who may then try to prevent it by applying for a temporary restraining order. The judge in a relocation hearing will then rule on whether the decision to relocate was in the best interests of the child or if it is an attempt to deprive the other parent of custody and visitation rights, in which case the judge will not allow the move. Once the child reaches a certain age however, they can make changes to the custody agreement that the parents and courts may already have in place.
If you have an issue concerning child custody or visitation in Texas, you can most effectively handle with professional help. Consult with a qualified lawyer experienced in handling family law case.