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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:

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Posted on in Child Custody

Texas complex custody attorney, Texas complex litigation attorney, Texas family law attorney,Even though a considerable amount of time and effort are poured into complex custody orders, they are not meant to last forever. In fact, as a rule of thumb, most such orders should be modified at least one every three or four years, to keeps pace with a family's changing needs.

Frequent modification is important, because "side agreements" are always unenforceable in family court, even if they are in writing. Many parents come to rely on these understandings, such as a different visitation schedule or pickup time. Then, when the other parent suddenly decides to go back to the way it was, they are left without recourse.

Basis for Modification

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