What laws govern interstate custody disputes?

When married couples with children decide to divorce, the best-case scenario is that all custody issues are solved amicably. Unfortunately, sometimes serious conflicts arise. Even after a judge grants one of the parents sole custody, the other parent may not wish to adhere to the ruling. That parent may even attempt to circumvent the judgment by taking the child to another state.

So if you are a sole custodial parent whose ex-spouse has taken your children to another state, you may worry that he or she may attempt to get the terms of the agreement changed without your consent. So, are there any laws that can prevent this from happening?

Fortunately, almost all states, with the exception of Massachusetts and Vermont, adhere to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. This act was created to help ensure uniformity among the states regarding how custody cases are handled.

Typically, once an initial custody ruling is made in one state, then that ruling is binding. In fact, contained within the U.S. Constitution is what is called the "Full Faith and Credit Clause." This clause maintains that judges must enforce valid decrees and judgments previously rendered in other states.

Even with the laws that are in place, interstate custody issues can be very complex to work out. There are situations when a state court that did not make an initial ruling can issue judgments in a custody case.

If you are in a custody battle that is being waged in different state courts, you could benefit from the services of a Texas family law attorney. The attorney could offer you guidance on how to reach a custody agreement that is in both your and the child's best interest.

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