Emergency Child Custody Temporary Orders In Modifications Could Now be Limited to Actual Emergencies, reported by Busby & Associates, Houston family law attorneys.

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Temporary orders in a suit to modify the parent-child relationship are a common way to have a mini trial within the first 30 days of a lawsuit and gain a strategic advantage at the beginning of a lawsuit. The pending legislation draws the comments of a Houston Family Law Attorney, Michael Busby.

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Surprise and Ambush, although Proper, Can Result in Destroying a Proper Parent Child Relationship

Texas House Bill 1500 was sent to the Governor on May 22, 2015. The bill, if signed by the Governor, will likely limit the number of temporary orders hearings in Suits to Modify the Parent Child Relationship. "In practice and case law, one typically does not get to change a valid and current order unless an emergency exists," says Michael Busby. Mike also adds that "one may have a hearing if a child has been motioned to confer with the Judge as to a preference that the child has to which parent the child would like to reside".

"At the same time, there are some Judges that would allow a temporary orders hearing changing summer vacations plans, requiring a parent to submit to certain injunctions". Michael also adds that sometimes a court will also "hear relief allowing a parent to lift a domicile restriction to move out of a certain area."

"This uncertainty, many times creates a situation where the parent asking for relief, gets to surprise the other parent with a adversarial hearing, that one parent could have only 2 to 3 days notice and thus not be prepared to best present their case. The new law hopes to give some clarification to judges, that parenting decisions should be left to parents and the court should hear, emergency hearings, when the health and safety of the child is at risk, not when one parent has a new job and wants to move 500 miles away, or the parents cannot agree during the summer to enrichment programs for sports and academic programs that could give a child advanced placement in the fall"

"Under the new law to take effect September 1, 2015, if signed by the Texas Governor, an affidavit filed by the parent seeking relief, describing how the child's safety could be affected, unless an emergency hearing is given, would be required," reports Michael Busby, a Houston Texas Family Law Attorney. "The court has the authority to deny relief, on a temporary basis, should the affidavit not be based on personal knowledge and describe an emergency to the child health and safely. The case is not dismissed, but a final trial would be set for which a parent would have at least 45 days notice, and an opportunity to subpoena witnesses, do discovery, and prepare for trial.

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Michael Busby
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