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Addressing Child Custody Issues When Parents Live in Different States

Posted on in Child Custody

TX custody lawyerIn a divorce or family law case involving minor children, parents have many important issues to resolve, particularly when it comes to each parent’s custody and visitation rights. Unfortunately, these issues often become contentious, in part because of the strong emotions that they are likely to bring to the forefront. Other factors, including where each parent lives, can make for additional complications. If you and your child’s other parent live in different states, you may need to prepare for some unique challenges when addressing legal custody concerns.

Does Texas Have Jurisdiction Over Your Custody Case?

If you live in Texas while your child’s other parent lives in another state, one of the first things you will need to determine is whether the state of Texas has the authority to hear your child custody case. Based on the terms of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, Texas typically only has jurisdiction when it is considered to be the child’s home state.

Generally, this means that the child currently lives in Texas with a parent and has done so for at least six months. If the child is not currently living in Texas, it may still be considered their home state if they lived in Texas with a parent within six months of the start of the legal custody action. This means that if the other parent moves with your child out of Texas, it is important to act quickly if you want your case to be heard in this state.

Who Determines the Child’s Primary Residence?

If Texas does have jurisdiction over your case, it will be handled according to the Texas Family Code. One of the most important decisions in a Texas child custody case is which parent will be named as managing conservator of the child, which gives them the authority to make major decisions in the child’s interest. Sometimes both parents are named as joint managing conservators, but even so, one parent will be granted the authority to choose the child’s primary residence, which can impact whether that residence will be in Texas. Texas custody orders also typically include a geographic restriction regarding where the managing conservator is allowed to move with the children without requiring additional legal action.

How Will Visitation Be Handled?

Parental visitation, or possession as it is known under Texas law, is typically allocated based on the distance between the two parents’ homes. If you and the other parent live in different states but within 100 miles of each other, a common arrangement is for the non-custodial parent to have visitation one evening per week and every other weekend. If you live more than 100 miles from the other parent, your arrangement may instead allow the non-custodial parent one weekend per month and extended time during spring and summer school vacations.

Contact an Austin, TX Child Custody Lawyer

At Powers and Kerr, PLLC, we can help you understand the complex child custody issues that you may encounter, and we will represent you in pursuit of a resolution that protects the interests of you and your child. Contact an Austin family law attorney at 512-610-6199 today to schedule a consultation.






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