[U]S Legal states: “Domicile restriction may be imposed by a court in an effort to promote regular and continuous contact with both parents, requiring the parent with the exclusive right to determine the child’s residence to be restricted in that determination. The child’s domicile may be restricted to a particular geographic location, usually a county and contiguous counties.”

When your relationship is over or when you go through a divorce, it is painful to come up with agreements that cover the future. Thus for many of us, courts, attorneys, judges, case workers and juries assist with creating orders (or rules) that you will have to live by until your children become adults.

Why is Domicile Restriction Needed?

Sadly regardless of how they phrase it, almost all court orders name a primary custodian as the main caretaker of the kids and a non-custodian who usually pays child support and visits the kids according to the order. Recently and becoming more common (especially in North Texas), court orders are starting to add in this “domicile restriction” to prevent the custodial parent from gaining custody and then suddenly moving far away in order to reduce visitation or access of the children by the Ex.

[tweet “Good co-parenting agreements require both parents to live in close proximity of each other.”]
While in general, the main custodial parent gets to establish residency and the school district of the kids, most orders with domicile restriction prevent the custodial parent from moving further than one county away. Thus giving the non-custodial parent access with her kids over a reasonable distance.

I am a Fan of Domicile Restrictions

The concept of “domicile restriction” is highly debated where good and bad arguments abound. After being on both sides of the fence, I tend to think this restriction is a good one. If you are going to be the custodial parent, you must be willing to stay put AT ALL COST in an effort to establish stability, and promote access of your kids with the other parent. To understand the mindset from a custodial viewpoint consider this post I wrote in 2008 when my daughter’s mother moved to another city… Extreme Custodial Parenting, Would You Do This?.

What has your experience been with domicile restriction? Good or bad?

Image: Teakwood via Flickr.