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Do you forfeit child custody rights if you move out of state?

On Behalf of | Aug 9, 2023 | Family Law

As a divorced parent, you may have to weigh many significant decisions against your responsibilities to your family. Even if your career or other personal circumstances call for you to relocate out of state, you must first consider how this will affect your child custody rights.

Texas child custody laws outline a number of processes that protect the rights of both parents in a co-parenting relationship. It is crucial to understand how these laws might affect you or whether they might cause you to forfeit your custodial rights if you move to another state.

Moving as the primary custodian

The primary custodian is the one who has the greater share of custodial authority over the children, and with whom the children likely spend most of their time residing. If you decide to relocate as the primary guardian, you cannot simply take the kids with you across state lines. It would be necessary to receive approval from your co-parent or from the court. Doing so might require modifying your custody agreement, which may even entail forfeiting primary custodianship to the other parent in order to go forward with your move.

Moving as a non-primary custodian

If you are attempting to relocate as a non-primary custodian, you do not have to worry about your move possibly impairing the other parent’s ability to exercise their custodial rights. However, moving far away might necessitate revisiting your parenting schedule to reflect the possibility that you cannot spend as much time with the kids.

It is important to remember that you not only have your own child custody rights to consider when moving but also your obligation to share responsibility with the other parent. Regardless of the circumstances, it may be necessary to modify your existing custody agreements before a move.