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If a custody case is transferred to another county in Texas…

If a custody case is...
If a custody case is transferred to another county in Texas is there a need to modify the agreement to reflect the change in counties or does that automatically change?
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10/19/2017
RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Lawyer
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Good evening,

A custody agreement doesn't become void when a parent relocates, even if it is a few miles away. That is, the obligations imposed upon each parent still apply. Visitation, for example, still must occur as stated in the custody agreement. Most custody agreements do say however that if a parent moves, they must inform the other parent and the court of their relocation and new address. If a parent moves 100 or more miles away (unlikely, but Texas is a big state) the law requires that the custodial parent give the other parent notice of their intent to relocate, and if the other parent does not agree, then a hearing must be held.

So long as the distance is short and visitation and such can take place and there are no real changes, the parents may wish to leave the agreement alone. If you are the non-custodial parent, however, and now the move has resulted in visitation or contact with the child/children becoming more difficult or otherwise has restricted your ability to see them or impacted you in other ways, then you should definitely consider filing a motion to modify the existing agreement.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I'm the custodial parent. So the case started in Dallas County where we both lived. I moved to neighboring Collin county and informed the non custodial parent I was doing so. I took her back to court for supervised visits and to ask for drug and physiological evaluation which the Dallas County judge enforced.After almost a year of not doing anything the non costodial parent then petitioned to have the case moved to Collin county where we both live now. I'm not moving more that 100 miles away and my move to another county shouldn't affect anything in the order in regards ***** ***** I may be able to create a document stating my intent and asking her to agree. Not sure if she'll sign it or not. You would think if she wanted it moved to the county then she wouldn't have a problem with that being the location on the order. But she's crazy. Is there premade document I can just fill in the location for? Or do I just send a certified letter to her and the court of my intent to move and just wait for her to dispute it?

It just deleted what I typed out, ugh! Having some computer problems at the moment.

To clarify, are you asking for a document she could sign stating that she doesn't care that you moved? Even though you already did and she never objected?

Also, if you are both now living in Collin County, is there a reason you don't want the case transferred?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Well at the time it was transferred I did not want it transferred because the Judges in Dallas are more in line with the well being of the child. In Collin county they typically side with the mothers. I was right the judge immediately dismissed the drug tests and evaluations but that's moot now. So as I understand it that makes Collin county, not Dallas county the courts in soul possession of this order. You would think that upon it being transferred the location would change as well. My lawyer should have contested it but what's done is done. That was over a year ago. So it was her idea to move it to Collin county. My original court agreement from Dallas orders " as long as the non primary parent resides in Dallas County or a contiguous county the residence of the child is restricted to Dallas County or a contiguous county until further orders of the Court or by written agreement of the parties filed with the court." My wife and I are looking to sell our house and move to Grayson county. Which borders Collin county. My main concern is to not be in violation of orders by doing so.

So Collin County is therefore contiguous to Dallas County. But is Grayson? If Grayson is not contiguous to Dallas, then I would say you would have to get the consent of mom to relocate, and if she objects, then there would have to be a hearing to let the court decide. I don't know Texas well (I've only ever been to San Antonio and Dallas very briefly, but I am a big Cowboys fan) but it doesn't sound like Grayson county is far, either, being right next to Collin. Mom would have to establish the way that your relocation would not be in the best interest of the child.

RobertJDFL
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Correct. Grayson is where I want to move to. It's contiguous to Collin county not Dallas county. Ok well I will try and type up an amendment and hopes she signs it. If not then I'll take her back to court. Which wouldn't be in her best interested as she hasn't paid child support in forever and is 6k behind and growing. Thanks so much for your councel.

My pleasure to be of assistance. It doesn't have to be anything formal. You can simply type up a "Letter of Intent to Relocate". You may wish to review your agreement to see if it says that if you relocate you have to provide her with a set amount of notice or time to object.

It's not as if you're moving very far away though or out of state. So long as you maintain visitation and contact between your child and their mother, and it won't impact it, I think you'll be okay.

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