When parents get divorced in Texas, child custody can become a contentious issue. In some cases, the court may impose a geographic restriction on one or both parents’ custody of the child. If you are going through a divorce or custody battle, it is important to understand what geographic restrictions are and how they could impact your rights as a parent.
What are Geographic Restrictions in Texas?
In Texas, the child’s primary residence is usually restricted to the county in which the case was filed and counties contiguous to that county. For example, if the case was filed in Dallas County, the child’s primary residence would be restricted to Dallas County and the contiguous counties.
Factors Considered by the Court
Before imposing a geographic restriction, the court will consider several factors to determine what is in the best interest of the child. These factors include:
- The distance between the parents’ homes
- The age and needs of the child
- The ability of the parents to communicate and cooperate
- The availability of suitable schools and other resources in the area
If the court decides that a geographic restriction is necessary, it will typically include specific details about the area in which the parent must live, as well as any other requirements or limitations. For example, the court may specify that the parent must live within a certain number of miles of the child’s school or may require the parent to provide regular updates on their address and contact information.
Consequences of Violating Geographic Restrictions
If the custodial parent violates the geographic restriction, the non-custodial parent may file a motion with the court asking for enforcement of the restriction. If the court finds that the violation was intentional and without good cause, it may take various actions. These actions may include:
- Ordering the custodial parent to pay the non-custodial parent’s attorney’s fees and court costs
- Modifying the custody order to give the non-custodial parent more time with the child
- Ordering the custodial parent to undergo counseling or parenting classes
- Changing the primary residence of the child to the non-custodial parent’s home in extreme cases
Understanding Your Rights and Responsibilities
If you are going through a divorce or custody battle, it is important to understand your rights and responsibilities when it comes to geographic restrictions. A knowledgeable and experienced divorce attorney can help you navigate this complex area of the law and ensure that your rights as a parent are protected.
Contact The Blacknall Firm
If you are facing a family law issue and need representation for a final trial or any other legal matter, contact the Blacknall Firm today. Our team of experienced family law attorneys is dedicated to helping our clients achieve the best possible outcome in their cases. Let us put our skills and knowledge to work for you.