Laws on Moving Out of Texas During a Divorce

By Jim Thomas

If you don't have children, moving out of Texas during your divorce proceedings might be an inconvenience, but it isn't against the law. However, if you have children and relocate with them out of state without the court's approval, you're in big trouble. Even if you are the custodial parent, you cannot move your children to another state unless the family court grants you permission to do so.

Public Policy

Texas' Family Code regulates the possession of and access to the children of a divorcing couple. It is the public policy of Texas to "assure that children will have frequent and continuing contact" with both parents. Additionally, parents are expected to provide a "safe, stable, and nonviolent" home for the child and are encouraged "to share in the rights and duties of raising their child" after the divorce. Texas focuses on the best interest of the child in cases involving custody, possession and access to your children.


Texas encourages frequent and regular contact between children and both parents. If the non-custodial parent lives in a particular area, such as a city or county, there is a legal presumption that the children should live in the same area. As a result, if the custodial parent wants to move to California or North Carolina, for example, she must have valid grounds for relocating in order to overcome the presumption against relocation.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Reasons for Relocating

A parent who wants to relocate needs to demonstrate to the court that it is in the best interests of the child to do so. A new job in another state, the presence of extended family in another state or military service might make moving a necessity, but Texas requires the parent to demonstrate the child will benefit as well as the parent.


If your temporary order or divorce degree contains a restriction against moving out of the area or state, you might be subject to severe penalties. The other parent can file a writ of habeas corpus, commanding you to bring the children back into the area and require your appearance before the court. Furthermore, relocating without permission might result in loss of custody. You also might be found in contempt for violating a court order, which can result in fines and jail time.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
California Laws on Parent Relocation


Related articles

Moving Out of State in the Middle of a Custody Battle in Texas

If you’re in the middle of active custody litigation, Texas courts won’t take it well if you suddenly move out of state with your children without permission. Section 153.001(a)(1) of the Texas code specifically cites that it is the state’s policy to ensure that children have frequent and loving contact with both parents. If you take steps to alter your children’s contact with their other parent by moving, it could conceivably cost you custody.

Can a Divorced Mother Move out of the State of Indiana With Her Children?

The terms of an Indiana court order for custody often affect whether a mother can move away from the state with her children. The right to relocate may also depend on the other parent's custodial rights and any objections he has to the move. A mother who plans to relocate should understand the relevant laws and procedures required in Indiana. She might benefit from consulting with an Indiana lawyer who handles custody issues, especially if the other parent opposes the relocation.

How Does Child Custody in Louisiana Convert to Texas Laws?

When couples divorce in Louisiana, the Louisiana court issues an order that describes child custody terms, but those terms may need to change if one or both spouses later wish to move out of state. However, Louisiana’s order and Louisiana state laws continue to govern the couple’s child custody, except under certain circumstances, such as when the new state assumes jurisdiction over the child.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Out of State Visitation Statutes in Texas

The Texas statutes related to marriage, divorce, child-parent relationships and juvenile justice are contained within ...

Child Custody Laws for North Carolina

Custody includes both physical custody, the right to provide a home for a child, and legal custody, the right to make ...

California Child Custody Laws About Moving Away

California, like other states, considers the best interests of the child when making custody determinations. Judges ...

How to Divorce in California & Leave the State With Children

A divorce represents an opportunity for spouses to move on. Often, this results in relocation to another town or state. ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED