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Navigating the Complexities of Relocation: A Texas Family Law Attorney's Perspective

Posted by James Victor Esh | Jan 26, 2024

Regardless if you have a geographic restriction in your Family Law orders, Texas also requires a standard notice to the other parent when a parent is planning on relocating.  (Geographic Restrictions are a separate topic.)  As a seasoned Texas Family Law attorney with 15 years of experience, I've witnessed the multitude of challenges that families face during the process of divorce and custody arrangements. One such challenge that frequently arises is the issue of relocation. In Texas, the law stipulates specific requirements and considerations when a parent wishes to move, especially when it involves a child from a previous marriage or relationship. Understanding these legal nuances is crucial for any parent contemplating a significant move.

Understanding the Standard General Statutory Warnings

Firstly, it's essential to comprehend what the standard general statutory warnings are in Texas Family Law. These warnings are essentially a set of guidelines that are provided to all parties in a family law case. They cover various aspects, including the importance of notifying the other parent in case of an emergency, the requirement to keep the other parent informed about the child's whereabouts, among other aspects.

When it comes to relocation, these warnings play a pivotal role. The Texas Family Code requires that a conservator (typically a parent) of a child must inform the other conservator of any planned change of residence. This notification must be given well in advance, usually at least 60 days before the move. It allows the other parent to raise any objections in court if they believe the relocation is not in the child's best interest.

Legal Considerations for Relocation

If a parent objects or challenges a move a parent, the Court will consider many factors.  The decision to relocate with a child is not taken lightly by Texas courts. The primary consideration is always the best interest of the child. The courts will examine various factors, including:

  1. The Motivation for Moving: Is the relocation intended to improve the child's life, such as better schooling or job opportunities for the parent, or is it to distance the child from the other parent?

  2. The Impact on the Child: How will the move affect the child's emotional, physical, and educational well-being?

  3. Existing Custodial Arrangements: How will the move affect the current custody and visitation schedule? Is it feasible to maintain a meaningful relationship with the non-moving parent?

  4. The Non-Moving Parent's Role: The involvement of the non-moving parent in the child's life is a crucial factor. The court will consider how the move might impact this relationship.

Practical Tips for Parents Considering Relocation

If you're contemplating a move, here are some practical steps to consider:

  • Early Communication: Discuss your plans with the other parent as early as possible. This can sometimes lead to an amicable agreement without the need for court intervention.

  • Legal Counsel: Consult with a family law attorney to understand your legal rights and obligations. An attorney can help draft the necessary notifications and represent you in court if needed.

  • Documentation: Keep detailed records of your reasons for moving and how you plan to support your child's relationship with the other parent post-move.

  • Consider Mediation: If both parties are somewhat amenable, mediation can be a less adversarial way to reach an agreement.


Relocation cases are complex and require careful consideration and planning. As a Texas Family Law attorney, my advice to clients is always to approach these situations with a clear understanding of the legal implications and a focus on what is best for the child. Whether you're the parent planning to move or the one potentially affected by such a move, it's crucial to seek legal guidance to navigate this challenging landscape effectively.

Remember, each family's situation is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Keeping open lines of communication and seeking professional advice early can make a significant difference in achieving a resolution that serves the best interests of all involved, especially the children.

About the Author

James Victor Esh

Victor understands the struggles of families.  It is at the core of how he practices.  When a family must be reshaped, he understands the emotional struggle this causes.  He seeks to resolve conflicts in the most efficient way by reaching agreements where they can be made.  When an agreement can'...

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