child custody

Child Custody and Support Issues When Your Child Resides Outside of Texas 1

Child custody and support issues can get more complicated if your child does not reside in the same state where you file for divorce. For instance, you and spouse can choose to live in Texas for at least six months in order for the state to have power over your divorce. You will then be eligible to file for a divorce in a court in Texas. However, what if your child lives in another state? You may have just left your child with a relative for a couple of months. What will happen to your child during your divorce if your child has never been in Texas?

Getting a Divorce in Texas when your child is not a Texas Resident

There can be an issue if your child has never been a resident of Texas because the child’s legal proceedings such as those dealing with parental rights, custody and child support will all be beyond the jurisdiction of any court in Texas. Even if the court makes a decision regarding your child, it is somewhat questionable whether or not such a decision can be enforced.

If you are pushing for a divorce case, and there is a child involved, the child will be included in the divorce lawsuit that you have filed in Texas, unless there is another court that would issue an order regarding the child’s affairs.

When the parents separate, one parent can go to any court to request child support. If this certain court provides a decision regarding the child, then this court will automatically have the official jurisdiction regarding the matters about the child’s affairs.

If at this point a divorce has not been finalized yet, and the parents will file for a divorce at a later date, the child will still be included in the divorce lawsuit.

However, if there were decisions passed in the first court regarding the child’s matters, those decisions cannot be changed in the court where the divorce case is being processed.

How to get a Divorce in Texas when you have not lived all your life in Texas

If you want to get a divorce in Texas, you need to make sure that a Texas court can actually have jurisdiction over your divorce case. In order to make sure of this, either you or your spouse should be a Texas resident for at least six months before the filing date of your divorce case.

The other spouse should be a resident of the county where you file for divorce for at least three months before the filing date of your divorce case.

These requirements, when met, will provide the court with enough power to deal with your case and all the other divorce-related issues except the matters related to your child.

This means that the court in Texas can handle property divisions and other stuff as long as you meet the aforementioned requirements.

When Can a Texas Court Render Judgement Regarding Child Custody and Support?

Since the jurisdiction of Texas courts will not cover issues such as child support and child custody, how can you deal with these issues during and after your divorce? We all know that when a child is involved in a divorce case, child custody and child support issues are usually the most pertinent among all the matters that come with the divorce.

There are various ways that a court in Texas can have jurisdiction over your child’s issues.

First, if your child has been living in Texas for at least six months before you filed for a divorce, then the Texas courts can also have jurisdiction over your child custody and support matters.

Second, if courts in other states or countries do not have the power over your child custody and child support matters, the court in Texas can also take over. This is also true if other courts are not willing to deal with your child’s issues.

Third, if the other court decides that the Texas court is the better option and is the more appropriate choice in dealing with your child’s issues, then Texas can deal with your child’s matters.

For these qualifications to be valid, however, one parent and the child should have connections in Texas and evidence about the child’s matters should also be available in Texas.

Seeking Legal Counsel in Texas

Matters relating to child custody and support are always one of the most sensitive and most complicated things that you’d have to deal with in a divorce, no matter where your divorce case is filed. It can be difficult to understand the rules and laws that cover your child’s interest.

You can always seek legal guidance from expert lawyers with enough skills and experience regarding child custody, support and other family law issues. You can then receive proper advice in how to proceed with the legal matters concerning your child’s future.

Dealing with the changes in your divorce and the issues brought about by your child’s matter can be difficult but there is always a way to reach a satisfactory resolution. Don’t hesitate to contact a family lawyer to assist you today!

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas. If you have any questions you can contact him at