Austin, Texas Interstate and International Child Custody and Support Lawyers
Nothing can make a parent feel more powerless than having your child removed to a different state or even a different country. The laws of different states and different nations are different than those in Texas and can have an impact on your custody or support arrangement with your spouse or partner.
Interstate Child Custody and Support Issues:
Fortunately, Texas and all other 49 states have adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) and Uniform Interstate Support Act (UIFSA). Both UCCJEA and UIFSA provide guidelines for jurisdiction for child custody and enforcement actions which will determine which state has jurisdiction over the lawsuit and issues concerning your child. Likewise, UIFSA provides guidelines for jurisdiction and enforcement of child support orders. Understanding which state has jurisdiction over your case will be critical in prosecuting or defending your child custody or child support case.
Because different states view custody and support differently, and because of the difficulty in litigating a child custody or support case in a state other than your own, it is important that you hire attorneys who understand UCCJEA and UIFSA and are able to convince a court in your home state to retain jurisdiction over your child custody or support case.
International Child Custody and Support Issues:
When child custody or support issues go international, things get more complicated. Both UCCEJA and UIFSA state that foreign nations will be treated as states for the purposes of determining jurisdictional matters. However, while the State of Texas may, under UCCJEA or UIFSA, believe that it has jurisdiction over your child custody or support case, a court of a foreign nation may disagree. Therefore, if your child has been removed to a foreign country without your consent, while a court in the state of Texas may believe it has jurisdiction to order the return of your child, the foreign court may not necessarily care what the Texas court says.
A potential remedy for a situation in which a child has been wrongfully removed is the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, which is an international treaty dealing with issues of international child abduction. The treaty provides for remedies in situations in which a child has been wrongfully removed to a foreign nation without a parent's consent. If your child has been wrongfully removed to a nation which enforces the Hague Convention, you will have the ability to petition the court of that nation to return your child.
However, not all nations are signatories to the Hague Convention, thus making it inapplicable to many countries in the world. For example, very few Asian and African nations are signatories to the treaty. In addition to this, many nations which are signatories to the Convention do not necessarily enforce the provisions of the treaty. Because of this if your child is wrongfully removed to a nation which does not enforce or recognize the Hague Convention, the remedies available to you to enforce the return of your child may be limited.
The best strategy to avoid such a situation is child abduction prevention. At Piper & Turner, PLLC, we understand the precautions that can be taken to prevent international child abduction. Our attorneys often request that the court enter orders pertaining to child passports and international travel in order to prevent international abduction. If a situation arises in which the child has already been removed, our attorneys specialize in utilizing all national and international avenues available to enforce the return of the child.
Let the Attorneys at Piper & Turner, PLLC Help:
The experienced attorneys of Piper & Turner, PLLC, routinely represent clients with interstate issues. Additionally, our attorneys have represented clients with child custody issues in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. We understand the complex issues presented both legally and emotionally when a child custody or support case goes interstate or international. Because the stakes in such a case are so high, it is crucial that you hire attorneys who understand these complex issues.
Attorney James W. Piper is a Board Certified family law attorney who has been serving families throughout Texas for more than 36 years. Mr. Piper has been named a Super Lawyer© by Texas Monthly Magazine, is an AV rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell©, is listed in Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, is a member of the Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists and is widely considered one of the most well respected family law attorneys in Central Texas. Mr. Piper's partner, Travis L. Turner, also a Board Certified family law attorney, has been named a Rising Star by Texas Monthly Magazine© and is a member of the Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists. Mr. Turner, with his extensive litigation and courtroom experience, has rapidly become known as one of the most prominent young family law attorneys in the Austin area. Both Mr. Piper and Mr. Turner, along with the attorneys of Piper & Turner, PLLC, form a unique and unmatched team of lawyers with the talent and experience needed to gain success for our clients both inside and outside of the courtroom.
Contact our office to schedule an opportunity to meet with one of our experienced attorneys about your interstate or international child custody and support matter. We understand that child custody and visitation is not just about the law; it is about your family. Based on our experience, we can clearly explain how Central Texas family courts are likely to view your situation and we will guide you through the entire process. Our lawyers pride themselves on offering our clients honest and realistic assessments about their cases while zealously advocating for the needs of each individual client. Let us help you achieve peace of mind about your case.
Contact us at Piper & Turner, PLLC to learn more about how we can help you weather the storm.