One of the biggest questions to answer when navigating a divorce or child custody case is “where will my child or children live?”.

Residency restriction orders dictate where a child or children are allowed to live geographically, and allow both parents to have frequent and continuous access to their children.

Here are five important things to know about residency restriction.

  • Both parents should have the right to decide where a child lives. Geographic restrictions on residence help ensure that both parents can stay active in their child’s life. They also make visitation easier for parents who do not live with their children.
  • Residency restriction orders are common. Whether through a written order or court order, most judges will limit residence in the case of joint child custody. For example, if a parent lives in Travis County, most judges will order that the child has to live in Travis County. Occasionally, the residency restriction order may be expanded to include Travis county and contiguous counties.
  • Residency can be restricted to a small or large area. In Texas, residency can be restricted to an area as small as a school district or as large as the state.
  • Co-parents need to notify one another of an upcoming move. Even if there is no residency restriction in place, co-parents must notify each other if there is a change of address.
  • It is best to get the process started as soon as possible. Before the residency restriction process is initiated, there is no legal safeguard preventing a parent from moving out of the state, or even the country, with a child. However, once the process is started, there is a standing order in states like Texas that restrict where the residence is going to be.

At Sandoval Law Firm we understand the stress of dealing with divorce, child custody and domestic violence. Our firm consists of founding attorney Raul Sandoval Jr. and a dedicated support staff. Mr. Sandoval earned his law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law. Since that time, he has been practicing family law in the Austin area, as well as teaching seminars, classes and other forms of professional development.