Residence Restriction: What is It?

Have you heard the words ‘residence restriction’ during your divorce?  Have you looked for it in your divorce decree?  Do you know if you have a residence restriction and what it means?  If you were divorced in Texas, it is likely that you do have a residence restriction in your divorce decree.

What is a Residence Restriction?

A residence restriction says that one or both of the parents in the divorce must live within a certain area. The Texas Family Code names the primary concern for judges in divorces with kids – that is the best interests of the children involved.  So, the courts restrict how far parents live from each other as a way to encourage parent involvement with their kids.

What does a Residence Restriction look like?

It is usually the county the divorce is in and the counties surrounding or contiguous to it.  In Denton County, the residence restriction is likely to be ‘Denton County and contiguous counties’.  If the parents are joint managing conservators, it is likely to be that the managing conservator, let’s call her Emily, is restricted to the specific area.

How long does the Residence Restriction last?

The residence restriction will apply while the kids are minors or still attending school and the possessory conservator Bob still does his part.  Since the goal is to encourage parent involvement and relationships with kids, the restriction applies to Emily, the managing conservator, as long as the possessory conservator, let’s call him Bob, lives in the area.  If Bob moves to Chicago, then the residence restriction doesn’t apply any more.  Emily, the managing conservator, isn’t restricted to make her residence with the kids to any particular place or area.

Is the Residence Restriction always the same?

No, the residence restriction isn’t always the same.  The area can be smaller or larger, depending on the particulars to each case.  I have seen several where the parents agree to particular school areas – elementary, middle, then high school – and much larger also.

Jill O’Connell is an experienced family law attorney.  Call today for an appointment, 940-497-5454.

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