Will the courts take into consideration where the majority of family is when deciding custody and where you must live?

I have been looking into divorce. What concerns me is that I was not allowed to go to college or anything to build a career. I am in school now but live in a new place for 3 months. I know that usually in custody cases you have to stay in a certain area with the father of the children. However, all of my support and family on both sides his and mine there. Are exceptions made in cases like this? I want to continue to go to school and get a job while my kids are in school, however I need a support network.

Asked on November 1, 2011 under Family Law, Texas


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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Whenever deciding custody arrangements, the paramount standard used by the courts is Texas is what is in the best interest of the child.  A recent change in your address is not a huge factor, since one or both parents usually end up in a new residence after a marriage has dissolved.  What will be a factor is how often you intend to move and what kind of stability you can provide for the children.  If you are planning on residing in one area, so that kids do not have to change schools and friends on a regular basis, then that will be a factor in your favor.  Even though it is not a controlling factor, access and support from family members is also favored.  Courts like to provide as much collateral support to kids (not just parents) as possible.  If you are moving away from your ex-husband, but closer to relatives, you can also argue that it can potentially make visits for him easier since he will have relatives to stay with and assist with visitation.  Courts do sometimes place geographic restrictions on where parents live so as not to deprive one parent access.  However, if you are still within a reasonable distance and your ex and your children will have plenty of access to family, the court may not impose that restriction on you.  Before you finalize any details, you may want to have a brief consultation with an attorney that practices family law in your area to see if there are any other plans that you can make that are favored by the judges in your jurisdiction.

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