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How do you register your child custody agreement in Texas?

Divorced parents in San Antonio often find that any changes to their material or geographical circumstances can dramatically impact their child custody agreements. Say, for example, that you just moved to Texas, yet your ex-spouse lives in another state with your kids. Can you ask a Texas family court to modify your agreement in light of your new situation?

You may indeed request that local courts review your custody arrangement, yet only if you follow the steps required to register your child custody agreement here in the state. According to the Texas Family Code, this can be done by submitting the following information to the court in the county in which you intend to seek the modification:

  •          A letter formally requesting registration
  •          Two copies of your original custody agreement (one must be certified)
  •          Both yours and your ex-spouse’s names and addresses

Upon receiving this information, the court will inform your ex-spouse of your intentions and provide him or her with the chance to contest the registration. He or she then has 20 days from the date of having received his or her notification to request a hearing. The law goes on to state that the only way for him or her to stop the registration is to show that your original agreement has been vacated or modified by the court that initially issued it, or that said court did not have jurisdiction over your case when it established your custody determination. A failure to receive notification of your intent to register your agreement locally is also viewed as justifiable grounds to contest your petition.

If, while awaiting to have your case heard, your ex-spouse tries to keep your children from seeing you, a local court can issue a temporary visitation order enforcing the terms of your original agreement. 

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