Portrait of John K Grubb

Texas Divorce and Prenuptial Agreement

5005 Riverway Drive, Suite 450 • Houston, Texas 77056

Phone: 713-877-8800 • Fax: 713-877-1229

Emergency Child Custody Orders are Available Out of State

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (“UCCJEA”) has helped many parents throughout the country achieve consistent child custody rulings. It helped them avoid losing their children to ex-partners who crossed state lines to take advantage of variations in the law between states. Now that the laws governing interstate child custody issues are the same from state to state, parents have less to worry about, but the need may still arise for an emergency child custody order in the event that a child is in danger. The UCCJEA provides guidance on that as well.

The UCCJEA permits ex-parte (when only one side is present at a court hearing) emergency child custody orders under certain circumstances. If a child has been abandoned or a child is in danger, a court in a state that would ordinarily not be able to make a child custody ruling concerning the child would be able to issue a temporary, emergency order for the child’s benefit.

Additionally, if no court in any state has made a child custody ruling regarding the child, then the emergency order can remain in effect until the proper state can make a ruling (which may end up being the state that made the emergency ruling after all). If there is a state with original jurisdiction, then the temporary child custody order stays in effect until the state with original jurisdiction is able to address the matter.

Have you had to obtain an emergency child custody order? How would you describe the legal process for others who may face a similar situation?

John K. Grubb & Associates, P.C. – Houston divorce lawyers

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