If my wife wants a divorce, can she take our boys out-of-state?

Can she take my boys from me and move back to the state where she’s originally from?

Asked on November 28, 2011 under Family Law, Texas


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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, when a divorce involves children, one parent will be granted the exclusive right to determine the residence of the child or children.  If you wife is awarded custody of the children in a divorce and is granted this right, then she would have the right to take the boys and move out-of-state.  However, there are times when the other spouse can petition (or ask) the court to limit the other parent's right by restricting their movement to certain counties, geographic region, or states.  If you are not awarded custody in your divorce, you may want to consider requesting the court to place this type of geographic restriction on her movement to insure that you continue having meaningful access to your boys.  Alternatively, you can ask the court that she foot the bill for the travel expenses associated with your visitation rights (like paying for airline tickets, or requiring her to drive them to Texas.)  This won't prevent her from leaving, but may give her an economic dis-incentive for leaving.

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.