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Can my Spouse Run Away with my Children?

Houston Area Family Law Firm. Your Strong Advocate in Child Custody Issues


Experienced Houston Area Child Custody Attorney Will Stand Up for You


Custody issues are common and among the most complex and important issues facing divorcing couples with children, and it’s important that each parent understand their rights and obligations regarding their children.


While a couple is still married and the divorce is pending, one of the worst decisions a parent can make is to pick up and attempt to relocate far away with the children. If there is no court order in place prohibiting such a relocation, then there is nothing illegal or prohibited about the relocation; however, it is viewed with extreme negativity by the courts when making a custody determination. In fact, the other parent may seek an order requiring the relocating parent to return the children home to Texas pending the litigation.


If you suspect that your spouse is planning to take your children out of state or out of the country, you should act quickly through your attorney to obtain a restraining order that prohibits such a relocation and provides a specific visitation schedule pending the divorce hearing where custody will be determined. In Texas, courts have the ability to define temporary visitation schedules, determine whether or not a child may travel out of Texas pending a custody trial, and other restrictions to protect the interests of the child, through what is known as “Temporary Orders.” The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act which has been adopted by all 50 states requires that states recognize and enforce another state’s custody order, provided that the state had jurisdiction to enter such order. So once a proper order is entered, whether it is a temporary order or a permanent order; that order is enforceable in all 50 states prohibiting the other parent from attempting to evade the court’s ruling.


Although it’s just a piece of paper, the order will likely have a detrimental effect, prompting your spouse to think carefully before they take the children away with a court order in effect. If your spouse takes the children out of Texas when a court order prohibits this, it could be considered kidnapping in violation of the Federal Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act, that applies to interstate custody disputes. The result for the parent who violates such an order could not only be losing custody, but also facing criminal charges.


Contact an Experienced Texas Family Law Attorney Today

Is your spouse threatening to leave the state or country with your children and you have been unable to work out an agreement? Christopher Meyer and Rachel Jagnanan have been representing Texas clients in the Harris County Family Court and Fort Bend County Family Courts. We will be a strong advocate for you and your family.


Contact us online using our online contact form or call (281) 845-2472 to schedule your initial consultation with Attorney Meyer or Jagnanan today.

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