Modifying a Prior Custody OrderModifying an earlier custody determination under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) is governed by §152.202 and §152.203 of the Texas Family Code. § 152.202 outlines Texas’s exclusive continuing jurisdiction over custody determinations and §153.203 describes how Texas courts may not modify child custody determinations made by the courts of another state. If a Texas court has issued a final order in an earlier determination of custody under proper jurisdiction, then that specific court has continuing exclusive jurisdiction (CEJ) over future custody determination or modifications. Basically, the Court that initially determined the custody order will still have jurisdiction to determine modifications as long as the initial order was made under proper jurisdiction.
Emergency Jurisdiction in Texas
A Texas court has temporary emergency jurisdiction if:
- the child is a present in Texas and
- the child has been abandoned OR the child needs to be protected because the child, or a sibling or parent of the child, is being subjected to or threatened with mistreatment or abuse.
- there must be no earlier child-custody determination enforceable under the UCCJEA;
- no other proceeding may have taken place in another court have jurisdiction under §152.201, §152.202, or §152.203;
- the emergency order must state that it will become a final order; and Texas becomes the new home state of the child
- stay the proceeding
- enjoin the parties from continuing with the proceeding
- proceed with modification if the Texas court deems it appropriate