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When Can You Get a Temporary Order That Modifies Child Custody?

For couples who have children and decide to divorce, custody is typically your number one concern. Once the divorce is finalized and you’re moving forward in your life, you’ll probably be able to take the time to breathe and settle into your new family arrangements. Sometimes, however, the child custody arrangements determined by the court hit a snag—often because of a move or a similar change—and sometimes the court will issue temporary orders that allow one parent or the other to temporarily make changes to the custody arrangements before the court modifies those arrangements. A recent Texas case, however, has put a finer point on this issue.

Considering Child Custody

A recent decision in a Texas child custody case takes a closer look at the question of when temporary orders can make changes to court-ordered child custody. This case involves a divorced mother and father that were both awarded (in a mediated settlement agreement) the right to determine the primary residence of three of their six minor children (of their 15 total children)—without regard to location. The mother, who had the three youngest children, was making plans to move to a distant city in Texas when the father petitioned to modify the original child custody agreement and requested temporary orders to stop the mother from moving with the three youngest kids.

The Plot Thickens

The issue of temporary orders moved to the lower court, where the father asked that the mother not move the children so far away from him and their siblings. Further, the father relayed that he’d made a mistake allowing the children to be separated in the first place and that the children’s out-of-pocket medical expenses would increase because they’d no longer be in his insurance network. The mother and father presented conflicting views related to the three youngest children’s wishes. The court determined that it was in the best interest of the three youngest children to remain living within 50 miles of their siblings and father and granted the temporary orders.

One Last Attempt

The mother appealed the decision on the grounds that the lower court had altered the designation of the very person whom the court, in the final divorce decree, had given the exclusive right to designate the children’s primary residence. The appellate court found that the father’s reasoning didn’t rise to a level that should prompt the court to violate the divorce decree. The mother’s appeal was granted, and the lower court was directed to vacate the temporary orders.

If You Have Child Custody Issues, Contact a Texas Divorce Attorney Today

Custody issues are the most difficult issues in a legal process that is rife with difficult issues. If you have questions or concerns, whether you live in Sugar Land, Katy, Richmond, Rosenberg, or anywhere in Texas,The Vendt Law Firm, P.L.L.C., is here to help.Attorney Frank J. Vendt is committed to providing you with the information, and legal services you need to help ensure to work towards a favorable resolution on your custody issues. To schedule a consultation with Mr. Vendt, contact or call us at (832) 263-6770 today.

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