Residency restrictions are commonly included in today's divorce decrees and SAPCR orders. A residency restriction usually means that the parent with primary custody is legally bound to remain living within a certain distance from the residence of the non-custodial parent.
These residency restrictions are intended to give both parents the opportunity to maintain close relationships with their children even though the parents' relationship has ended.
Residency restrictions can also cause tremendous conflict or financial hardship. When a residency restriction is in place, parental relocation is legally impossible without an agreement from the non-custodial parent.
If the custodial parent relocates without the agreement of the non-custodial parent, the custodial parent could face serious legal sanctions — up to and sometimes including loss of primary custody or even incarceration for violating the court's order.
If you are a parent on either side of a parental relocation dispute, it is critically important that you seek legal advice from an experienced family law attorney. If you are bound by a residency restriction, we encourage you to seek legal advice before moving away, to make sure you do not jeopardize your custody arrangement by violating your court order. If your relationship with your child will be affected by the other parent's contemplated move, a consultation with a family law attorney can help you fully understand your rights to oppose the move or to insist on a fair visitation schedule with your child.
Residency restrictions and parental relocation law is very fact specific and is a complicated area of family law. The potential effects on your family are too serious to trust to an inexperienced lawyer.
Contact Linda Stanley, P.L.L.C.
Attorney Linda Stanley is a family law attorney in Austin, Texas, with over 33 years' legal experience. Ms. Stanley is both a lawyer and a trained family law mediator, which means that our office has substantial experience helping families resolve even the most heated disputes.
If you have questions about parental relocation, we invite you to contact our offices to schedule a confidential consultation.