If my ex-wife just moved out of state with my 5 year old, do I have the right to know who she is living with?

UPDATED: Dec 5, 2011

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If my ex-wife just moved out of state with my 5 year old, do I have the right to know who she is living with?

Asked on December 5, 2011 under Family Law, Texas


L.P., Member, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Thank you for submitting your question regarding your rights to know who your five year old child is currently living with.  The family law guidelines can vary from state to state.  However, child custody laws have a common theme throughout all of the states.  Family courts encourage child custody cases to be determined based on the best interests of the child.  In determining child custody the court will consider the likelihood of the custodial parent to support the continuation of the relationship between the child and the non-custodial parent.  The court will also consider the likelihood of the custodial parent removing the child out-of-state.  The court attempts to keep the family unit in tact as much as possible, and if family members are living far apart then the family unit is only being further divided. 

If you seek a court order for child custody, then you can request that the court set guidelines for living arrangements of the child, as well as travel arrangements.  Some states will write into the court order that the custodial parent needs permission from the non-custodial parent to travel out-of-state.  If this language is contained within your custody order, and the custodial parent travels out-of-state without your permission, you can request that the court hold the custodial parent in contempt.

Parents may think that they want to handle the child custody matters themselves and not get the court involved, but sometimes the custodial parent makes decisions for their best interests, instead of the child’s best interest.  Having a custody order in place will ensure that the child’s best interest remain the focus.


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