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Noncustodial father wants to move, mother said he can take child; what's the next step?

Your Question:
I live in the state of Texas, and I plan on moving in the near future.I have a 9yr old child with a woman I dated in high school. I'm paying child support and the mother is the custodial parent. My childs mother has told me many times, our child can live with me. Before I move I plan on asking her if my dauther can live with me. I'm unsure on what steps I need to take if she agrees. I was wondering if the mother and I sould contact the child support, write up a notarized contract, etc. I was also wanting to know at, what age a child can choose which parent they want to live with? Thank you

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My Answer:

You have a pretty simple situation but need a very correct legal answer.

If you do any part of it wrong, it can come back and bite you in the butt.

So, I suggest you shell out $250 to meet with a local family law attorney for an hour, and tell that person exactly what you told me. Meet alone with that person, not with the mother.

The attorney will know exactly what forms should be filed where, and the best way for you to get the mother's consent in a way that won't disrupt the child's life 6 months later if the mother changes her mind.

As to when a child can "choose" a home, most states have a clause that allow a judge to consider a child's feelings. The more mature the child, the greater the consideration. But I don't think there's any state that says a child can choose at X age. In real life, however I've heard that 13 years is a pretty magic number for this.


This website gives common sense advice that is not intended to act as legal guidance nor psychological guidance. The author is neither an attorney nor licensed psychologist. For specific legal guidance or specific psychological guidance, consult with a licensed professional.

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