Thank you for your question. First, I should be clear that because the nuances of every situation are different, this information should not be construed as complete or advice without consulting with counsel in person. That said, there are a few things that you should know.
First, if a parent takes their child out of state, jurisdiction over child custody
does not automatically and immediately move with the child. When a child's home state is Texas, Texas may retain jurisdiction over custody of the child for up to six months after the child leaves. This means that a child who's home state is Texas could be moved out of Texas in May 2013 by one parent, and the other parent could generally file for custody in the Texas courts as late as November 2013. So if "mom" decides to pick up and leave the state of Texas with her child, nothing would generally prevent "dad" from turning around a day, a week, or a month later and filing in the Texas courts for an order to move the child back to Texas. So it is fortunately not like the days of the wild west. There is a uniform set of laws called the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) that is basically designed to protect against the very concern that you have.
That said, I can understand wanting to get an order preventing a child from lawfully being taken from the state in the first place.
I'm guessing that the other attorney asked about whether you are planning to divorce because child custody is automatically addressed when a party files for divorce. If the intention is to divorce, it usually just makes sense to file for divorce and resolve the issues in one fell swoop. However, if the desire is to not immediately file for divorce, a child custody order that keeps the child in state can still be requested through a "Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship" (SAPCR). I will direct you generally to the following website:
Because it is difficult to anticipate what sort of details would and would not be helpful to you, and because of the volume of information that could be potentially needed, I would like to explain the process generally, direct you to the aforementioned website for details, and then invite you to let me know if you have any remaining questions.
Generally, an order cannot be made without due process. Due process means adequate notice of a hearing, and the right to be heard. "Adequate notice" usually means several weeks. However, the court understands that it sometimes needs to shoot first and ask questions later. In those instances, the court may make a temporary order
(sometimes called an "ex parte" [pronounced "ex-par-tay"] order). The rationale is that there is an urgent need for an order, so the court will suspend the other party's right to due process temporarily in order to protect the status quo.
To get a temporary order, the party would file their Petition for SAPCR, and also an affidavit explaining why the temporary order is necessary. Generally, to maximize the chance of success, the requested temporary order should be as non-restrictive as possible. The party would then, at the time of filing, need to set a temporary orders hearing at the court of filing.
The process for setting a temporary orders hearing is different in each of Texas' 254 counties, so there is no way to avoid checking with the court's local rules or family law
clerk for instructions. The court's website sometimes has the specific process for asking for a temporary orders hearing posted, but not always. Oftentimes, the process is as simple as giving the other party 24 hours notice by telephone and then filling out a form given to you by the court saying that you gave the other party 24 hours notice.
I hope that gets you off on the right foot. Let me know if further clarification is needed, and please feel free to leave a positive rating for me once you are completely finished; it does not cost anything extra to do so, and it is the only way I may be compensated for my time. Thanks.