If I remarry and move out of state with my child, do I have to go to court or can my ex and I change the terms of out parenting plan ourselves?

My ex and I have been divorced for 11 months and we have joint custody, with me being the

primary. We wrote our own parenting agreement and within it placed geographical restrictions. Both my ex and I are in agreement to allow me to move to another state with our child from Texas to Georgia and I will be providing transportation for the child’s visits with her father. Our child is 8 and is perfectly content with all of the arrangements. My ex currently lives 3 hours away and this move would be 12 hours but he is perfectly content with all arrangements. I plan on remarrying and the 2 men have met and agree on things. Do we need to go before a judge to change our parenting agreement lifting the geographical restriction?

Asked on April 25, 2016 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Many orders in Texas provide for geographic restrictions.  Lifts of geo restrictions are traditionally handled in a variety of ways in these orders.
Most have a clause that says the geographic restriction will remain in effect unless an agreement is signed, in writing, and filed with the court.  If your decree has this type of provision, write up the agreement, have both of you sign it, and then go file a copy of it with the court. 
If there is absolutely no method in your decree for lifting the geographic restriction, then your safest option is to do an agreed modification that sets out all of the agreements you have listed above. 
Many people don't go back to court and change their orders... and things work out just fine.  However, if you do move without an order modifying the restriction, you run the risk of your ex- filing a motion to enforce after you have already moved.  If the judge decides to uphold the original order, then you would have to move back to Texas in order to retain full custody of your son.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.