Whatare rights as a father, if my son’s motherwent out of state and she doesn’t bring him back?

UPDATED: Dec 14, 2011

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Whatare rights as a father, if my son’s motherwent out of state and she doesn’t bring him back?

My wife has my daughter and has been there for 6 weeks. I have my son and they want him to come for Christmas. I just need to know what my rights are if she doesn’t let him come back?

Asked on December 14, 2011 under Family Law, Texas


L.P., Member, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Thank you for submitting your question regarding child custody and children traveling out-of-state.  As with all child custody issues, the laws governing these dilemmas will vary from state to state.  This does not mean that the law of the state that you are traveling into, but the laws of the state which the child is considered a resident.  The definition of resident can also vary depending on the state, but usually is the same as where the child attends school, lives for majority of the time, has a mailing address, etc. 

While parents attempt to have child custody issues worked out between each other and not involve the court system, it is not always the easiest way to go about handling sharing the custody of children, because parents tend to be selfish and want the children to be with them and do not want the children to be with the other parent.  When the court becomes involved, it is the court’s job to ensure that the child custody arrangement is such that the child’s best interests are protected.  When the court assesses child custody it will apply the best interest of the child test, and one of the factors is examining which parent is more likely to support the relationship of the child with the other parent.

Once the court orders a child custody arrangement, the parents must comply with the court’s order.  If the parents are likely to travel out-of-state, you want to be sure to address this issue at the hearing, and the judge can insert a clause that requires each parent to get the other parent’s permission before traveling out-of-state with the child.  If at any time one of the parents violates the court’s order, they can be held in contempt.  If you need further assistance, you should contact a family law attorney in your area to get this process started. 


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