The Texas Family Code limits a trial court’s ability to issue temporary orders during a pending suit to modify the parent-child relationship. The court cannot issue a temporary order designating or changing the designation of the person with the exclusive right to designate the child’s primary residence unless it is in the child’s best interest and the current circumstances would significantly impair his or her physical health or emotional development, the designated person has voluntarily given up primary care and custody, or the child is at least 12 years old and has identified the person he or she prefers to have the right to designate the primary residence. The court is also prohibited from creating, changing, or eliminating a geographic limitation on the child’s primary residence unless those same conditions are met.
A father recently challenged a temporary court order requiring his children be enrolled in a school district where neither parent lived.
The divorce decree named the parents joint managing conservators of their three children, but granted the father the exclusive right to designate their primary residence with no geographic restriction. Each parent had the independent right to make decisions about the children’s education.