In a comment to my original post on the residency restriction in texas, anonymous posts:
Chris, you said in your post that one way to maintain a geographical restriction is to stay active in your child’s life well, I’m here to tell you, that’s not the case in Guadalupe County, Texas. I’m a joint managing conservator or my children and even though my ex-wife is the “custodial” parent, I proved in Court that the children spent more than half the time with me, I testified confidently that I had been to EVERY significant even in their life since the divorce, and showed that I had a daily relationship with them. The judge still allowed my ex-wife to take my children and live 5 hours away with them. SHe claimed that she had been searching for a teaching position for 2 years within the geographical restrictions and I brought public information requests from all the school districts surrounding her residence that showed that she had NEVER applied to them for a job. Still, she got the restriction lifted. So, by no fault of my own, without me doing anything but be a good father, never missed a child support payment PLUS i paid for their daycare, my children were taken away from me and I’m helpless to having the court make my kids another statistic.
This is a good opportunity to bring home a point that I find myself stressing over and over in response to comments to my posts and that is that you are always subject to the whims of a judge. Many times the specific facts of a case are less important than what judge it is before or how the judge feels about you as a person. Judges are people too and have opinions like the rest of us, wrong or right.
You might ask then, what am I to do in a situation similar to that of anonymous where I am trying to enforce or set a residency restriction? Anonymous can and probably should appeal the ruling of the Court with regard to lifting the Texas residency restriction. If he does not already have an attorney then he should consult an appellate attorney to inquire as to appealing the judge’s ruling. An appellate court is the checks and balances that help control how the lower courts behave.
Just some food for thought for those of you out there who are hyper-focused on the facts of their specific situation. Ask anonymous, he will tell you that sometimes you can do everything right and still not get what you feel you are entitled to.
The most unfortunate part is the children who were the subject of the Texas residency restriction who may now be deprived of the love and involvement of their father.
Anonymous, good luck and I hope the court upholds the residency restriction.