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Can I relocate with my child without letting the court know?

On Behalf of | Oct 19, 2023 | Child Custody

When the situation calls for it, moving homes is inevitable. Relocation can be a sensitive issue for parents with children they share with an ex-spouse or partner. If not appropriately addressed, it can lead to cumbersome disputes.

One of the possible questions you may have as a relocating parent is whether you can move homes with your child without informing the court.

Yes, if you are a sole managing conservator

If the court designates you as the sole managing conservator of your child, you have full authority to establish where their primary residence will be. You can do this without obtaining a court order or the other parent’s permission. However, it is still advisable to inform the other parent to avoid further disagreements.

Another allowable instance

Generally, you do not have to inform the court of your relocation if:

  • You have obtained the other parent’s permission to move with your child.
  • The relocation plan does not require modifying the current custody order.

Usually, a relocation does not require modification if it does not change the custody and visitation arrangement. For instance, your moving does not hinder the other parent’s ability to visit your child as usual. Hence, there is no need to inform the court of the move.

When one of the two is missing

If the other parent objects to the relocation, you must petition the family court that issued the original custody order. While the court cannot prevent you from moving residences, it can stop you from bringing your child with you unless you prove that relocating with them is in their best interests.

Moreover, if the move requires changes in the current custody arrangement, you have to request the court for a modification even if the other parent allows you to relocate. Under Texas laws, material and substantial changes in circumstances, such as relocation, allow for custody modifications.

Moving wisely

Other unique conditions can play a significant role when addressing child relocation issues. Before finalizing your move, you have to ensure that you are acting within the bounds of the law and making wise decisions. Otherwise, you can face legal repercussions for relocating without the court’s or the other parent’s permission.