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Can a Texas court change custody orders from another state?

| Feb 9, 2021 | interstate custody issues |

You may have relocated to Texas to start a new job, get an education or enjoy a new standard of living. But if you are a parent who has divorced in another state and you have an existing custody arrangement, you may wonder if your custody orders will change once you move to your new home.

There are some reasons why a Texas court may or may not modify your custody arrangement upon your request. State law explains what you might expect a state court to do depending on your circumstances.

Continuing jurisdiction

Texas courts will not just remove jurisdiction from the state that has already ruled in your custody case. Although you have decided to relocate to Texas, your co-parent might still live in your old state. Your child may also reside at times in your prior state in order to visit with your co-parent. These connections means Texas law will recognize your old state as having continuing jurisdiction over your case.

Transferring jurisdiction to Texas

In some situations, Texas may take over jurisdiction over your case. A court in your old state of residence may decide it no longer has exclusive jurisdiction to modify your agreement, or it may give up jurisdiction on the grounds that a Texas court would be more convenient for your case. In addition, a Texas court may change your custody orders if you, your child and your co-parent no longer claim residence in the other state.

If you want a Texas court to modify your custody arrangement for the safety of your child even if your old state claims jurisdiction, state law may provide some help. Texas law allows a court to take over temporary emergency jurisdiction if your child has suffered abuse or could suffer abuse from another family member. Even though interstate child custody has its complications, options remain available for new Texas residents to seek relief.