How can you help me exert my parental rights with someone who lives outside of Texas?

Dallas, TX family law attorney Lisa E. McKnight talks about the situation of parental rights with a parent who lives outside the state.

Contact Lisa E. McKnight

Phone: (214) 528-4191


There’s two different issues with regarding interstate, international. Interstate is much easier than international. Texas has the UCCJEA, Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act and it governs all the other states custody orders. And so if I have a custody over here and you move and then don’t bring the kids back like you were supposed to then that’s enforceable the state government, the federal government can even get involved it becomes parental kidnapping if you don’t follow.

So what’s trickier is international disputes. I’ve handled several Hague cases. There was a Hague convention that many, many countries abide the Hague convention it’s where we agree that we’re gonna all honor the other Hague members custody orders. There’s some countries that are not members of The Hague and we usually do not like the children going to those countries because we can’t get them back.

And so let’s just say you have somebody visiting England. Your spouse lives in England, the children stay there for the summer and then the spouse doesn’t send the children back. There’s a lot of movie stars that this happened that I’ve followed on TMZ, I follow their cases with great interest. You can’t just not bring the kids back. England will enforce our custody order and you can get in a lot of trouble, its international kidnapping. Not advisable but it happens quite frequently. We see a lot here in Texas with Mexico disputes between Mexico and Texas and the United States regarding custody orders. And so Mexico and the United States honor each other’s custody orders and so those will be enforced.

You never want to be in a situation where you’re having to do that it’s much better to prevent that and there’s certain things that your lawyer can advise you on how to prevent and international kidnapping situation.