Can I move to another city before filing for divorce?

When spouses are going through difficult and trying times at home, it is often the instinct of at least one of the spouses to pack up their belongings and leave the marital residence.

Whether it is to control the level of vitriol directed at the other spouse or to seek some time apart to decide how to proceed with filing for a Texas divorce, it is not uncommon for folks to walk into the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC with questions regarding how best to situate oneself (literally) while preparing for a divorce.

As with most decisions to be made in a divorce, the best piece of advice that this writer believes can be given is to stop and think of the consequences of such a move. There are positives and negatives to moving out of your marital residence before or during a divorce.

Moving has a:

  1. financial side of the equation as well
  2. as custody aspect for your children (if any)

Both aspects should be strongly considered before moving to a new house or town before or during the Texas divorce process.

Financial Aspects of Moving During a Divorce

Perhaps the most basic concern on the financial side of the ledger that a soon to be divorcing spouse must consider is what happens to your interest in the home if you move out. Texas is a community property state and what our law holds is that if the home was purchased during the marriage it is considered to be community property no matter what else occurs during the divorce.

You still will have a financial interest in the marital residence

This means that if you decide to move to another city or just down the street, your financial interest in the home is not destroyed. This is the case no matter if your name is on the deed to the home or if your income helped to pay for the down-payment or improvements made to the house.

You may still have to pay bills

Here is the downside for a spouse considering a move- if the spouse who was primarily responsible for paying the bills (utilities, mortgage, household bills like groceries) for a household decides to move out, it is likely that a court would put into place some “temporary orders” mandating that this spouse continue to pay the bills as they have been accustomed to do at least for the duration of the divorce process.

Yes- that means that this spouse will most likely be paying bills for the marital home AND bills for their new residence.

Divorces in Texas can be completed in as few as 60 days, but many tend to last three to four months in length. This is a factor to consider when deciding whether or not to move from the marital home no matter where it is a party desires to move next.

Consider your Children

More important than the home itself to most divorcing spouses is what happens to the children and how much time are each parent allotted in terms of possession of the children.

If a spouse decides to leave the residence and leave their children behind with their husband or wife it is likely that a court would order that the spouse who remained with the children will have the right to determine the primary residence of the children.

Not only does this mean losing time with the children, but also paying money towards the support of the children as well.


When considering whether to move to another city prior to a divorce it is important to consider what a court may order when it comes to a visitation schedule for the children. If a parent decides to move across town it may not be a huge issue as mobility over relatively short distances isn’t much to be concerned with in this day and age.

However, if a parent decides to move to an entirely different city (especially one that is more than 100 miles away from the marital home where the kids live primarily) a court has it within their power to order the moving parent only one weekend per month with their children due to the distance between the divorcing parents.

Finally- the sort of home a moving parent has the ability to purchase or lease can be taken into consideration by a court in regard to deciding a visitation schedule. If your new residence doesn’t have bedrooms for the children the situation at visit-time may at the very least be uncomfortable or at the most may be a barrier to extended periods of visitation.

Negotiations and Mediation

In general, if one spouse has to move from the house it is best to either enter into an agreement with the other spouse after the divorce has been filed. That way the attorneys involved can type that agreement into a court order and that order can be signed by a judge.

Getting agreements into a written form and then having a judge sign the newly drafted order means having an agreement that is enforceable by contempt. That means if the other party violates some provision (or two, or three, or…) the aggrieved spouse can take them to court for a hearing on those violations.

Usually the risk of being yelled at by a judge and also having to pay some penalties in the form of attorney’s fees keeps parties on their best behavior during a divorce.

The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handle family law and divorce cases across southeast Texas. Please contact our office today to learn how our expertise and courtroom know how can benefit you during what is certain to be a difficult time in your and your family’s lives.

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Other Articles you may be interested in:

  1. The Dirty Trick of Filing for Divorce in Another City
  2. The Dirty Trick of Moving Out of State with the Kids
  3. Should I move out of the marital home during a divorce?
  4. Do I have to move out of the marital home during a divorce in Spring, Texas?
  5. Children’s Passports and International Travel after Texas Divorce
  6. Can a Parent remove My Child from the state of Texas or from the County or Country where I am living?
  7. Geographic Restrictions in Child Visitation Orders in Texas
  8. Common Law Marriage and Texas Divorce Guide
  9. How to get a Common Law Divorce in Spring, Texas
  10. 6 things You Need to Know Before You File for Divorce in Texas

Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Spring Divorce Lawyer

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it’s important to speak with ar Spring, TX Divorce Lawyer right away to protect your rights.

A divorce lawyer in Spring TX is skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handles Divorce cases in Spring, Texas, Cypress, Spring, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.

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