CUSTODY RIGHTS: SHOULD I STAY IN TEXAS?
Your first thought after a relationship breakdown might be to move as far away from your former partner as possible - getting out of Texas and moving interstate - but this can cause all sort of problems if there are children involved: emotional, social, and also legal!
Keep in mind that the Texas Family Court considers the interest of the child to be the key determining factor when awarding custody, and a parent who disappears from the scene after a divorce or relationship breakdown is rarely perceived as acting in the best interests of the child.
Maintaining some degree of stability for your child through the upheaval of family breakdown is very important, and you need to recognise that your child's whole concept of 'home' is one that was developed from within that environment you created when you and your former partner were still a couple. For this reason you should avoid uprooting your children from the family residence if at all possible, especially in the early months after separation.
Staying at your residence may be painful, especially if you have friends or neighbors whose very presence reminds you of the pain of your relationship breakdown, and you may yearn for the support of your family, who may live a long way from Texas. Yet this is your child's home. And the 'home' is more than four walls and a bed. It includes friends, sporting clubs and your child's familiar recreational hangouts, all of which your child may need now more than ever!
If you are the parent you has been forced to leave the family home, this makes the issue of residency no less important, and you should think very carefully about how to maintain a consistent environment for your child when you choose where to live.
From a practical point of view, living closer to your spouse also means that a 50/50 shared care option is more feasible. By remaining close to your child's friends, this also allows play-dates to continue in the familiar way, babysitting arrangements can be more easily managed, as can the logistics of collecting forgotten belongings from your child's other home.
If you look to the long-term, you'll realise that living near by means that you can better assist the other parent with school pick-up's where one of you is held up, and in a variety of other practical matters. This all means more "normal" time spent with your kids that improves the position of both parents and the child.
And remember that these issues are not simply personal family matters. They are also legal issues, and can play a key role in determining custody cases. The family court in Texas awards custody by determining what is in the best interests of the child, and it is rarely going to be in the best interest of the child if one of the parents moves interstate, most especially if they are planning on taking their child with them.