Moving Out of State with a Child and No Custody Agreement

Moving Out of State with a Child and No Custody Agreement

Jun 12, 2024
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People move out of state for many reasons; a new job, to take care of an aging parent, a change of pace, and so on. Moving to a new start can indicate a new start after a difficult experience like a separation or a divorce as well.

However, if you share custody, you should always consult a Fort Worth child custody attorney if you are considering a move, as there are strict guidelines.

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Can I move with my child if there is no custody agreement?

If you are planning to move out of the state of Texas and do not have a custody agreement, you might assume that there are no limits on when and for how long you can travel with your child. 

It is important to understand that there are restrictions on moving to another state with a child if you do not have a custody agreement. The parent who is moving to another state will confirm that the co-parent agrees. If the other parent objects, they can file a custody case with the court to prevent the child from moving out of state. The parent who is moving will need to request and receive permission from the Texas court.

How To Relocate With Your Child

The quickest and easiest way to relocate with your child is to discuss the move with the other parent and confirm that they agree to your moving out of state. If the co-parent does not agree with your move, your next step would be to petition the court with your request to move. A judge would then review and approve or deny your request. If the judge does not approve your request to move with your child, you can appeal this decision. Your experienced Texas Family Law attorney can help you plan for this. 

This also might be a good time to discuss creating a child custody agreement with the co-parent. A child custody agreement can help to outline schedules, when the child will be able to visit their other parent, and any financial aspects of the move, like who will pay for flights or travel, if necessary. These are all conversations that may continue to have and negotiations that you would need to keep working through if there is not a custody agreement in place. 

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We put you and your family first! Whether you are facing divorce, seeking adoption, or have a child custody case, you can rely on our legal team. Contact us today for a case review or legal consultation.

Steps To Relocating With A Child

Relocating with your child, regardless of if you have a custody agreement in place, can be tricky. There are a few steps that are helpful to take if you plan to move out of the state of Texas.

  • Work with your attorney to come up with a plan for how you and the other co-parent will split time with your child. 
  • Speak with the other co-parent and present your proposed schedule. 
  • If the co-parent agrees, it is advisable to create a child custody agreement that can be referred to if needed. This will give you a concrete, legal document that shows both parents were in agreement in case one parent changes their mind in the future. 
  • If the co-parent does not agree, you may need to bring your case to family court for a judge to review and grant or deny permission to move with your child. Your attorney can help to present your case to the court. 

Contact a Fort Worth family law attorney

If you are thinking about moving out of the state with your child but do not have a custody agreement, it is advisable to speak with an experienced Fort Worth family lawyer to learn more about your options. At MBH Fort Worth Family Law, our team is familiar with many different child custody situations, and we are ready to help. Contact us online today to schedule a free initial consultation. 

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Constance Mims

Constance Mims has over fifteen years of experience practicing exclusively family law. Mrs. Mims is Board Certified in Family Law, by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She is Collaborative Law certified and is a shrewd negotiator, not to mention her experience in the most challenging child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, alimony, prenuptial agreements, and divorce issues, both in court and in the appellate arena.


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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by Founding Partner, Constance Mims who has over 15 years of experience practicing exclusively family law. Mrs. Mims is Board Certified in Family Law, by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization..

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