residency restrictions in texas, do the facts always matter?

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.[cleanarchivesreloaded]

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7 Responses to residency restrictions in texas, do the facts always matter?

  1. Michelle May O'Neil November 10, 2009 at 8:53 pm #

    Hey, Chris. Good blog! I just posted about a jury trial in Dallas a couple of weeks ago where the jury upheld a residency restriction, preventing the mom from moving out of the country. Read about it here: Anyway, enjoyed the blog.


  2. Bell County Dad August 18, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    I’m facing similar circumstances, the hearing is next week. I coach, help at school, and even have my daugher ovenights on school nights. Ex wants to move 1200 miles away for a better job, but just put in a pool and deck here. She’s not hurting financially, even though this job would mean more money. My fingers are crossed, all I can do is my best… Thanks for the post, it was a bit of a reality check.

  3. Chris Schmiedeke August 18, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    A reality check is good. It keeps you on your toes. Give em hell and please post a comment on the outcome. Thanks for reading.

  4. Bell County Dad August 26, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    The judge upheld the geographical restriction with the caveat that if I deploy overseas for more than 90 days, it is automatically lifted. My ex hadn’t spent any time searching for jobs locally, and accepted the job far away even before the temporary hearing 3 months ago. She even said that if the roles were reversed, she wouldn’t accept our daughter moving away. Thanks for this post, it helped me not get my hopes up. I guess it is all about the judge.

  5. GC MOM September 16, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    I am on the other side as all you Dads! I am the custodial MOM & yes, my kids dad is active in thier life (not in the most positive way…he ALWAYS downgrades me & my family to them, etc) BUT he has me restricted to ONE county!!! Here is the kicker, i let him claim one of the two kids on taxes, & i dropped (voluntarily) his child support from $476 a month to $200 a month & he still is over $3000 behind on c/s & he says he doesn’t want to pay it because he is being forced!!! Now, my husband has taken a new jobs (6 1/2 hrs away from where i am now) & in November i will be laid off from my job. Do you think it’s fair he gets to have me stuck here even though he isn’t doing his part???? NO, it isn’t!!!

  6. Starla July 9, 2015 at 9:49 am #

    I am a concerned grandparent. My son just went through a divorce that was settled through mediation . They have joint custody but she they live with her. Geographic restrictions were placed on her cause she wanted to move. It has only been 2 months. She got married last week and my son was served papers yesterday. She is wanting the restrictions lifted so she can move with her new husband. My son is a great dad the kids love him and don’t want to move. He is very involved in their lives. Is it right that she agreed to the restrictions just 2 months ago and now wants them changed.

  7. Chris Schmiedeke July 28, 2015 at 11:09 am #

    The court will decide the issue based upon the facts. That sounds unreasonable to me as well. Good luck.

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