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Enforcing or Challenging an Out-of-State Child Custody Order in Texas

Child custody is a complex area of family law. Attempts are usually made to apply the standard of best interests of the child. But when a protracted custody battle ensues, court decisions about child custody may leave all parties with a painful and unsatisfactory resolution.

It is important to realize that you might be able to modify a child custody order down the road. We live in a highly mobile society. It is common for divorced parents to move from the state where their divorce occurred, whether for a new job, or simply to put distance between themselves and the ex.

When a custody issue involves the enforcement of an out-of-state order, another complex layer must be considered by the court. A skilled Houston child custody lawyer can help explain how the law applies in a particular case.

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJA) generally governs issues regarding whether a court can make a decision in a child custody case. Basically, the law attempts to ensure that all states abide by the laws of the state making the original custody order. Uniform custody enforcement and jurisdiction provisions are the goal of the law.

When a parent moves to Texas and has physical custody, this usually means the parent has a sufficient connection with the state to seek modification or enforcement of an out-of-state custody order — provided certain requirements are met.

Similarly, when a non-custodial parent lives in another state, Texas courts may be able to assert jurisdiction to enforce the visitation rights of the non-custodial parent when the child lives in Texas with the custodial parent.

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Robert Reid McInvale
Attorney at Law

Robert Reid McInvale is an experienced family law attorney with a comprehensive practice in Houston. He provides dedicated and strong advocacy for his clients, helping them with all the issues surrounding their divorce, separation, child custody, and other marriage and family matters. Attorney McInvale—Reid to clients and friends—seemed destined for a law career. Born while his father was attending Emory University Law School, Reid grew up in Manchester, GA. His father was the city attorney for many years, as well as head of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. It is in the family blood to become lawyers and help people get justice. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall is part of the McInvale family tree.

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