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Interstate Child Custody and Temporary Emergency Orders


Interstate child custody cases are often much more complex than single-state custody cases due to the “home state” considerations established by the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). However, if this jurisdiction system breaks down due to emergency circumstances, the law does provide the opportunity for a state to file a temporary emergency order in cases where immediate legal action needs to be taken in the state where the child currently resides, regardless of his or her home state status. During these potentially confusing cases, it is important for Houston residents to have the skill and experience of a legal team like Diggs & Sadler on their side.

How Do Temporary Emergency Orders Work in Interstate Child Custody Cases?

Under the UCCJEA’s jurisdiction rules, child custody cases will operate primarily out of the state granted “home state” status for the child in question. However, if an incident occurs outside of the child’s home state that requires emergency action on behalf of a state court, a temporary emergency order may be filed. These orders work according to the following rules:

  • Temporary emergency orders may be filed by any state in which a child is in danger or requires immediate custody modifications
  • Modifications made from temporary orders take other states’ orders into account, but they will temporarily override the original agreements
  • Once the parents and child return to the child’s home state, that court, which has proper jurisdiction, will make a lasting ruling regarding the emergency order
  • If there is no previous custody ruling or no home state has been determined, the order will stand as a part of the custody agreement, and the state issuing the order may become the child’s home state

These emergency orders can be extremely important for situations when a child is in clear danger and needs help getting away from a parent who may harm him or her.

Contact an Attorney in Houston

If you’re facing a difficult child custody battle and need assistance with modifications, enforcement actions, or other issues, our experienced and determined legal team may be able to work with you to protect your and your child’s rights and interests. To learn more about your options as a parent in an interstate custody case, contact a lawyer from Diggs & Sadler by calling (713) 766-5355 today.

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