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Can you modify your custody agreement after relocating?

Jurisdiction matters in child custody cases can often be quite complex. Yet if and when they do arise in your case, it is important that you deal with them promptly in order to ensure your agreement remains legally valid. Say that you recently relocated to San Antonio from another state in order to follow your ex-spouse, who did the same (with your kids in tow) sometime earlier. Now that you are closer, you would like to see about modifying your agreement to see your children more. There is just one problem: Your visitation rights were determined by a court in your previous home state, and your ex-spouse is telling you Texas courts cannot amend your arrangement. 

What recourse (if any) do you have in such a situation. According to Section 152.304 of the Texas Family Code, a local family court does have the right to issue a temporary order enforcing a visitation schedule made in another state. You can also petition to have the local court assign a new temporary visitation schedule if the provisions of your previous one were unclear. In such a case, the court will designate a period of time in which the temporary schedule will be in effect. 

The reason for providing a time provision to your temporary visitation schedule is to give you the chance to confer with the court in your previous state regarding a custody modification. Once this happens, that court either hear the petition for the modification, or determine whether or not to yield continuing jurisdiction to the court here in Texas. In any event, your temporary visitation order ends when either such a determination is made or its predetermined time period lapses. 

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