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Temporary Orders and Modifying Primary Conservatorship in Texas

 Posted on September 08, 2017 in Child Custody

new Texas family lawIn May, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 1495, which prohibits courts from temporarily granting a parent the exclusive right to determine a child’s primary residence in certain cases. For instance, the law will only apply in situations where two parents have agreed that neither will have the exclusive right to decide where their child lives. This means that when no parent has been granted the exclusive right to decide where a child will primarily reside, courts cannot step in to grant this right to one of the parties temporarily while a suit for modification is pending. The law went into effect on September 1st, so if you have questions about how it could affect your pending child custody case, please contact an experienced complex child custody attorney who can explain your options.

Restrictions and Exceptions

In addition to prohibiting courts from granting a temporary order that gives one parent the right to choose a child’s primary residence, the new law also states that no temporary order can change or eliminate the geographic area within which a parent must maintain a child’s primary residence. This means that when a suit for modification of an order is pending, judges are not allowed to permit one parent to take the child outside of a certain geographic area, as this would essentially give that individual primary custody. However, these limitations only apply when a suit involves the modification of an order that provides for one of the following:

  • The conservatorship of a child;
  • Child support; or
  • Possession of or access to a child.

There is also an exception to this rule that allows courts to change geographic restrictions and grant a parent the right to determine where a child will live. Under this exception, courts can grant temporary orders if doing so would be in the best interest of the child and:

  • The order is necessary because the child’s current circumstances would significantly limit his or her health or progress;
  • One of the parents has voluntarily given up primary responsibility for and possession of the child for more than six months; or
  • The child is over the age of 12 years old and prefers to have a certain parent retain the right to designate his or her residence.

Satisfying this standard can be difficult, which makes it especially important for those involved in a custody dispute to speak with an experienced attorney who can ensure that their interests, as well as the interests of their children, are protected.

Contact a Complex Child Custody Attorney in Leander

Call today to speak with a dedicated and compassionate Leander complex child custody attorney at Powers and Kerr, PLLC. We are eager to assist you throughout each step of your case.




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