When a child of divorced or unmarried parents in Texas remains in Texas, it’s not legally difficult to enforce the terms of a child custody or visitation order anywhere in the state. But when the custodial parent moves the child out of state, or if the child will stay for an extended period with the other parent in another state, difficult problems can arise concerning either parent’s ability to enforce his or her rights under a Texas custody order in another state.

If you’re a custodial parent considering moving to another state, or allowing your child to visit the other parent in another state for an extended period of time, or if you’re a noncustodial parent in another state trying to enforce your visitation rights in Texas, our award-winning family law attorneys can advise and represent you. Contact the experienced family law lawyers at the Tilton & Tilton Law Firm anytime at 713-774-8600 for a dependable legal consultation about your rights under the interstate child custody laws. We provide a free consultation, meaning you can get the answers you need even if you decide not to hire our firm.

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act governs the procedures for enforcing an out-of-state child custody order in Texas, or for enforcing a Texas child custody order in another state. Generally speaking, the Uniform Act limits the ability of another state to contradict the terms of an effective Texas child custody order, and streamlines the ability of a parent to enforce the terms of a Texas order in another state.

Despite the intent of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act to standardize the enforcement of custody orders across state lines, as a practical matter the first parent to go to court – whether in Texas or in another state – enjoys at least a temporary tactical advantage in asserting his or her child custody rights. The fact that the losing party in interstate child custody disputes can be held liable for the prevailing party’s attorney’s fees and court costs neutralizes this advantage to a great extent.

If you have any questions about interstate child custody enforcement, or if you believe that a parent in another state is jeopardizing your parental rights, contact our family lawyers today for a free consultation at our Houston office.