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Attorney & Mediator
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If a couple in Texas is seperated but nothing legal has been

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If a couple in Texas is seperated but nothing legal has been done, can one of the parents move out of state with the child without the permission of the other parent?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Attorney & Mediator replied 8 years ago.
Unless there is a court order in place or a pending court action regarding a divorce, separation or custody case, TX does not make it unlawful for the parent to move out of state without the consent of the other parent. So long as the child's whereabouts are not concealed, there is no criminal offense committed.

The parent who does not have custody of the child would have to begin a court case and request custody of the child. Below is the statute for your review:



Sec. 25.03. INTERFERENCE WITH CHILD CUSTODY. (a) A person commits an offense if the person takes or retains a child younger than 18 years when the person:

(1) knows that the person's taking or retention violates the express terms of a judgment or order, including a temporary order, of a court disposing of the child's custody; or

(2) has not been awarded custody of the child by a court of competent jurisdiction, knows that a suit for divorce or a civil suit or application for habeas corpus to dispose of the child's custody has been filed, and takes the child out of the geographic area of the counties composing the judicial district if the court is a district court or the county if the court is a statutory county court, without the permission of the court and with the intent to deprive the court of authority over the child.

(b) A noncustodial parent commits an offense if, with the intent to interfere with the lawful custody of a child younger than 18 years, the noncustodial parent knowingly entices or persuades the child to leave the custody of the custodial parent, guardian, or person standing in the stead of the custodial parent or guardian of the child.

(c) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(2) that the actor returned the child to the geographic area of the counties composing the judicial district if the court is a district court or the county if the court is a statutory county court, within three days after the date of the commission of the offense.

(d) An offense under this section is a state jail felony.

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