Child Custody and Geographic Restriction

Live at Five’s board certified family attorney, Sonya Coffman, answers questions submitted by Southeast Texas KFDM News viewers. These questions include:

  • After gaining custody of your children, how can you stop child support from being taken out of your check?
  • Can a seventeen year old legally leave one parent and begin living with the other without going through the court?
  • Can I get a court order restricting me to living in a certain county changed due to a job offer?


there is a recent article in the Wall Street Journal discussing the increasing role that a child’s obesity plays in custody battles how do you courts look at childhood obesity Live at Five family attorney Sonya Coffman joins us now with details and kind of strange that we're talking about childhood obesity in custody it's something we're seeing more frequently because the courts can consider the best interest ok we are going to have to reach behind you and actually turn on that microphone or like flip this little button now everybody can hear you ok courts can keep their best interest of the child and if they feel that a parent is not making sure a child gets proper nutrition and proper exercise that can be a health risk such as diabetes or heart disease and the Wall Street Journal article that you're referring to talked about an extreme case and a fourteen-year-old from South Carolina that weighed five hundred and fifty five pounds and was removed from the mother's care and another was charged with criminal neglect so we don't often see those extreme cases but it is something that plays in the best interest of the child well we've got lots of questions on our KFDM News Facebook page so let's get to those Beth wants to know if you can tell support but now the children live with you how can you get the child support stopped from being taken from your check or can you they can they are going to need to get a court order either through the Attorney General's Office or through a district judge in order to change the child support obligation ok other question when filing your divorce your spouse agrees to the terms no children or property just plain and simple papers were not sent officially because he agreed to sign them if he does not send them back within the time given do you have to start the process all over and file again or can I re-send the paper certified and continue on in the process she does not have to re-file her divorce but she will need to request that a citation be issued to get personal service on her spouse in order to get the divorce finalized and that return of citation needs to be on file at least ten days before the divorce is finalized ok if someone is seventeen can they legally you leave their moms and live with their dad without having to go through the courts legally no but practically probably so I think most judges would say absent some really good reason why not a seventeen-year-old is probably is going to come and go as they would see fit okay if I have a court order to stay in a certain county being the custodial parent for my son but was offered a job position that bettered my family is it possible to get that order changed it is possible and we’ve talked about that several times geographic restriction it will take you to an agreement in writing from the other parent or a court order to change it and the court would look at the factors and best interests of the child all though our judges take very seriously geographic restriction and are not likely to let someone move unless it's a really good reason alright Sonya and unfortunately we are out of time but appreciate you stopping by and we’ll do this again next month and if you have a question about family law you can let Sonya answer your questions just fax those questions eight nine two seven three oh five email them at or you can post them on our KFDM News Facebook page