Monday, October 26, 2009

this is a good time to make a point about residency restrictions in Texas

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 Guadalue 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? 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 hyperfocused 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.

Anonymous, good luck.


Michelle May O'Neil said...

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.


Angelina Marie said...

Hey Chris,
I am in Houston and in the midst of a divorce. My ex does follow through with visitation but the kids HATE going over there and we only moved here for him. He even said he gets the kids to keep the orders in place to keep us here and thats all...
I have no family, no friends, nothing here. I have multiple opportunities with my degree in Dallas and San Antonio (as well as family and friends in BOTH cities) but my ex knows I am miserable and alone here so he said he would fight to keep the restriction in place.
I do have a recording of him verbally abusing me then waking up the kids and telling them terrible stuff about me. My attorney wants to use it in court and said it will help our case, do you think this is so? I HATE Houston and know it would better our situation to move for my job. Any suggestions before we head to trial in January?
Thanks so much!

Andrew Felix said...

Liked your concept of giving reply to the Queries publicly which will help lots of other people who are facing similar problems.

Andrew Felix