Interstate Child Custody and Visitation

Interstate Child Custody and Visitation Issues in Texas

When a parent with custody relocates to another state, needs to enforce child custody and visitation orders from another state, or needs a modification of parenting plans and visitation agreements from another state, that parent needs an interstate child custody and visitation lawyer like Richard T. Sutherland.

Lawsuits and modifications involving interstate child custody and visitation are understandably emotional. Children are only young and grow up once, and the distance separating parents, children and families can be overwhelming. Every case is different and requires the best strategy for the family to accomplish their custody and visitation goals. Along the way the Court focuses on the best interest of the child.

For an expanded look, please visit the page on our website dedicated to Interstate Family Law.

Call Richard T. Sutherland at (940) 691-2100 for Interstate Child Custody and Visitation Issues.

Richard T. Sutherland Texas Divorce and Family Law Attorney for Interstate Child Custody

Licensed to practice law in the State of Texas, not Oklahoma, Richard T. Sutherland has represented many families with divorce and interstate child custody and visitation issues.

Located in Wichita Falls, the Law Office of Richard T. Sutherland, is not far from Sheppard Air Force Base, where military members are stationed, coming from all over the United States.

When families move to Texas from another state or are leaving Texas to move to Oklahoma, they may have interstate child custody and visitation issues requiring the legal advice and representation by an experienced Texas divorce and child custody lawyer.

Listen to Richard T. Sutherland’s podcast: Military Deployment and Custody in Texas

Federal Laws Apply to Interstate Child Custody and Visitation Cases

The UCCJEA (Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act), UIFSA (Uniform Interstate Family Support Act), and PPKA (Prevention of Parental Kidnapping Act) are federal laws applied in child custody and visitation case with multi-state issues. These laws are about uniformity and cooperation among courts in different states. The Hague Convention is a federal treaty adopted by various countries, setting forth guidelines for cooperation among international courts and government agencies.

What is the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act?

Used only for original suit or modification or enforcement for custody and visitation and possession not for child support, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act is about which court keeps original subject matter jurisdiction, thus having the authority to enter court orders affecting the family.

If for example, a child is born in Oklahoma where the family resides, and the child has been in Oklahoma for six months preceding the filing of a case involving child custody, Oklahoma is the home state that keeps jurisdiction to hear the case and make modification and enforcement decisions.

One purpose of the act is to prevent people taking or abducting a child to another state to file a custody case there, where the parent thinks they might have a better outcome. This practice is called forum shopping and it is prevented by the UCCJEA.

So long as one of the parties remains in the home state, that court keeps original and ongoing jurisdiction in the custody case. If everyone leaves Oklahoma and is now in Texas, for example, the Oklahoma court may be petitioned to move the case to Texas.

Do people ever ignore the UCCJEA? They sure do. Richard T. Sutherland has litigated many cases involving interstate child custody and UCCJEA issues and he is well-versed in the law, its application and exceptions.

Read all about the UCCJEA on our website page dedicated to Interstate Family Law.  

What is the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act?

The federal law used regarding interstate family law and child support is the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act. UIFSA applies to child support, medical support and child support arrearages when the custodial and non-custodial parents live in different states. Under this law, states can work together to establish and enforce child support orders across state lines. This prevents one parent leaving the state to avoid support obligations.

What is the Prevention of Parental Kidnapping Act?

The Prevention of Parental Kidnapping Act is a federal law used to enforce custody determinations by courts in other states. To prevent parents taking a child to another state with an intention not to return the child. A parent can seek relief from court, in the form of specific court orders to prevent the other parent from fleeing with children, preventing parental kidnapping.

Richard T. Sutherland is an Experienced Interstate Child Custody and Visitation Lawyer in Wichita County, Texas

Richard T. Sutherland has focused his practice on divorce and family matters, helping Texas families with complex and challenging divorce and family law problems for many years. He is experienced in interstate child custody and visitation cases and is often hired on by other lawyers with clients who need an experienced Texas divorce and family lawyer to assist with one of the complex interstate child custody and visitation issues identified in this blog article.

To schedule a consultation, call the Law Office of Richard T. Sutherland today by dialing (940) 691-2100. Richard T. Sutherland is licensed to practice law in Texas, not Oklahoma.

January divorce filings in Wichita Falls

January divorce filings are popular for several reasons. Many of the people filing for divorce this month knew that they were going to get a divorce well before the holidays.

While it might not be ideal driving to the homes of friends and family knowing you plan to divorce your spouse right after New Year’s, many people decide to make it past the holidays before they file in January. In some cases, spouses are on the fence and take a wait and see approach, and when things happen that justify suspicions and instinct, January may be an ideal time to file for divorce.

Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody, Habeas Corpus, Modifications, Enforcements, Interstate Family Law, Pre & Post Marital Agreements, Child Support, Interstate Family Support, January divorce filings
Richard Sutherland Attorney at Law in Wichita Falls, Texas – Family Law Practice Areas

January divorce filings are popular for several reasons:

  • January is a quiet month. Without holidays there is more time to gather information and work with a divorce attorney in identifying key objectives and issues in the divorce;
  • Children are back in school. As soon as kids go back to school, parents seeking divorce can concentrate without the disrupted schedule and routine often associated with the holidays;
  • Early divorce filers get earlier Temporary Orders hearings. Court calendars and early hearing dates fill up quickly when many people are filing new cases. When you file early, your chances are better that you can have your Temporary Orders hearing completed before spring.

Note that while many divorces are planned some time in advance, in other cases, unexpected events and occurrences can lead to a divorce people never saw coming.

January can be a stressful time for many trying to pay the credit cards and bills after overspending during the holidays. Financial distress is a common reason people divorce.

After the holidays people who were on their best behavior might sour after New Year’s. When the fights among couples are stirred back up after the holidays are over, it can be bad. In cases involving family violence those filing for divorce may have not been able to prepare for a divorce and can need extra help and support. Where one spouse lacks access to money, they may ask the court for an order of interim attorney’s fees, where the court can order one party to contribute to the attorney’s fees of another.

Please feel free to review several pages on our website dedicated to a variety of family law issues.

For information about Texas divorce and family law please call Attorney Richard T. Sutherland in Wichita Falls, Texas by dialing (940) 691-2100.

You can follow Attorney Richard T. Sutherland on social media and find useful articles and resources for you and your family. Richard Sutherland is on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn. For a virtual library of blog articles and podcast interviews about Texas divorce and family law please visit

Richard T. Sutherland represents people and families in Wichita County, Archer County, Baylor County, Clay County, Foard County, Hardeman County, Jack County, Montague County, Wise County, Young County and Wilbarger Counties in North Texas and has accepted cases in other areas West, North-Central and in South Texas.