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What is an inconvenient forum?

Typically, matters involving child custody determinations in San Antonio are often easily resolved given that the both parents usually choose to remain in close proximity even after separating in order to stay in contact with their kids. There may be times, however, when employment obligations or other circumstances may prompt your ex to move to another state before your child custody hearing may be initiated. If and when this happens, the issue of who has jurisdiction in your case may suddenly come into play. This could potentially leave local courts contemplating whether your case presents an inconvenient forum.

An inconvenient forum describes a situation where a local court that has jurisdiction over your case according to the Texas Family Code determines that it would be better to decline that jurisdiction on account of a court in another state offering a more appropriate forum. This is not a decision that the court comes at lightly, however. It considers a number of different factors when making this determination, including:

  •          The length of time your child may have resided in your spouse’s new home state
  •          The distance between the two courts claiming jurisdiction
  •          The nature of any evidence needed to resolve your child custody case (including the testimony of your child)
  •          How quickly circumstances would allow the respective courts to come to a decision on a custody ruling
  •          The familiarity of each of the respective courts regarding the facts of your case

If domestic violence has occurred between you and your ex-spouse, the court may also take that into consideration to determine which state court could best protect your child. The court will also take both yours and your ex-spouse’s current financial circumstances into account, as well as any agreement the two of you may have reached on your own regarding jurisdiction. 

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