Angela Stout is an expert Houston lawyer well-versed in child custody laws, including parental relocation and geographic restrictions
Moving from city to city and state to state is more common today than ever before. People move for a multitude of reasons; to pursue employment opportunities, scholastic endeavors, better economic conditions, to be closer to family or simply for a change of scenery.
Whatever the reason, developments in transportation and technology have enabled people to pick up and relocate with relative ease. When the family unit is changed through divorce or separation, however, the ease with which parents can relocate often complicates an already complex family situation.
Public policy in the state of Texas dictates that both a child’s parents have frequent and continuing contact with their child provided each parent has exhibited an ability to act in the best interest of their child. This includes a showing that the parent can provide a safe, stable, and non-violent environment for the child.
To effectuate this policy, Texas courts are authorized to impose what is referred to as a “geographic restriction” on the residence of a child. In essence, this allows the court to determine where a child will reside for the foreseeable future.
Prior to imposing a geographic restriction on the residence of a child, the court will weigh this policy against a host of other factors including but not limited to the employability of a parent in both locations, family ties to certain locations, the ability of the non-relocating parent to move, educational opportunities for the parents and child in both locations, ties the child has to each community and each parent’s involvement in the child’s life.
It is also important to note that the Texas judicial system is unique in that a parent may elect to have a jury, rather than the judge, decide whether or not a geographic restriction is warranted in his or her particular case.
Filing a Relocation Suit in Houston? Contact Us
Angela A. Stout and The Stout Law Firm, P.L.L.C. Houston lawyers are experienced and knowledgeable in dealing with relocation suits.
We recognize how important the ultimate outcome of a relocation suit is and how it will impact your life and that of your child. If you are considering a move or want to fight to keep your child from moving, contact The Stout Law Firm, P.L.L.C. attorneys to learn more about the options available to you to protect your rights.