When one parent wants to move away with the child, the court hearing the Texas custody case must determine whether the move is in the child’s best interest. In making its determination, the court needs to consider the public policies set forth in the Texas Family Code. The court may also consider reasons for and against the move, opportunities the move will provide, accommodation of the child’s needs and talents, relationships with extended family, visitation and communication with the noncustodial parent, the non-custodial parent’s ability to relocate, and the child’s age. The court may also consider the same factors to be considered in determining the best interest of the child generally.
In a recent case, a mother challenged a geographic residency limitation the court placed on the child when she had planned to move. The mother filed for divorce and asked the court to appoint her as joint managing conservator and give her the exclusive right to designate the child’s primary residence. The father asked that the parties be appointed joint managing conservators, but also sought the exclusive right to designate the child’s primary residence.
During the marriage, the couple had lived in Cass County. The child went to pre-K in Cass County, but both parents worked in Bowie County. After the separation, both parents moved to different areas of Bowie County and the child went to school where his mother lived.