Interstate Custody

Interstate Family Law Attorneys

Interstate custody cases often involve complex federal jurisdictional laws, with geographical distance adding another layer of complexity. These circumstances create the potential for very emotionally-driven litigation. The biggest concern is the detrimental impact such cases can have on the children involved.

After a divorce, the court that handled the decree retains jurisdiction over issues relating to custody and child support. Problems occur when one parent moves from the state the court is in to another state, whether the move is to Texas from another state, or from Texas to another state.

In child custody cases involving such interstate issues, it is important to be decisive. The lawyers at Hardy Law Group know how to apply and argue federal laws in interstate child custody cases.

Federal Laws Applicable to Interstate Child Custody Cases:

  • UCCJEA (Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act)
  • UIFSA (Uniform Interstate Family Support Act)
  • PPKA (Prevention of Parental Kidnapping Act)

These federal laws are useful in deciding multi-state issues by promoting uniformity and cooperation between courts in different states. In international cases, guidelines are followed from the Hague Convention.

Common Multi-State Family Law Issues

Interstate issues may be caused by a number of different circumstances. Often, issues arise when a custodial parent moves out of the state. However, a non custodial parent moving out of the state can cause issues as well.

Common Issues Prompting Interstate Family Law Cases:

  • Relocation of a parent with custody to another state
  • Registering and enforcing custody and visitation orders from another state
  • Modifying parenting and visitation plans in Texas from another state

 

Legal Complexities and Limitations with Relocation

When a court enters an order regarding custody, it will usually contain a domicile restriction with the details and limitations regarding a parent’s right to relocate with the child. This prevents one parent from simply moving with the child without any notice to the other parent or consent from the court.

Custodial parents wishing to move out of state must involve the court to ensure they are not making a one-sided decision. The parent wishing to relocate must request a modification from the court to alter the previous domicile restriction.

Common Reasons for a Relocation May Include:

  • New employment, or current job relocation
  • Moving closer to relatives
  • Schooling or education
  • Moving back to a previous home location

If the other parent wishes to prevent you from moving–which is generally the case–that parent can file an application for a temporary restraining order. The court will then hold a hearing for the parent to share the circumstances behind relocation plans, after which it will make a decision. In any case, the court will consider the motivations and reasons behind the desired relocation.

In most interstate custody cases involving relocation, the judge will also consider the child’s age, possible educational advantages, distance and traveling costs, and the potential effects on the child. A court will not prevent a move that is motivated by the desire to alienate another parent or prevent a parent from seeing a child.

Call HLG for an Expert Interstate Custody Attorney

It is necessary to prove to the judge that your change in circumstances justifies the requested relocation, and that the relocation is in the best interest of the child. The family law attorneys at the Hardy Law Group are experienced in resolving divorce, custody and support matters in cases involving parents in more than one state.

Contact our Dallas/Fort Worth office at (817) 887-9158 today to speak with an attorney.