Changing Child Custody in Texas – Part One

The first hurdle in changing an existing custody order is knowing where to make your request.  The general rule is the last court retains jurisdiction to make future decisions about custody unless or until another court acquires jurisdiction.

One way another court can acquire jurisdiction is if the children move to a different Texas county.  After six months in the new county, either parent can request the new county court to acquire jurisdiction via a timely transfer request.  The time requirements for filing a transfer request depend on who is filing the request and why, as set forth in Section 155.204.

On the other hand, absent a true emergency, Texas will not take jurisdiction over a custody matter where the existing custody order was issued by a court in another state.  Texas will give ‘full faith and credit’ to the existing order and will only assume authority to change the order if a party establishes that Texas is now the ‘Home State’ of the child, if the original court no longer claims continuing jurisdiction, or if none of the parties named in the original custody order still reside in the other state.

Once jurisdiction in a Texas court is established, then a party must show that a change in custody is warranted under Texas law, which will be the topic of our next article.  Be sure to check back soon to learn more.

To talk with an experienced College Station, Texas divorce attorney, call the Peterson Law Group at 979-703-7014 or fill out our online contact form. We are committed to finding solutions for our clients.

About Chris Peterson

Chris Peterson is an attorney and the owner and founder of Peterson Law Group, a Texas law firm with offices in Bryan/College Station and Kingwood. He mainly practices in the areas of Estate Planning and Business Planning. Chris is also a Certified Estate Planner. Besides his law practice, Chris is a serial entrepreneur and community volunteer. He is known for his cutting edge law practice that utilizes technology to deliver efficient, excellent work.