Child custody cases get complicated when parents live in different states. Instances of children who are improperly taken by their non-custodial parent, sadly, are not uncommon. Transporting the children across state lines makes the matter even more difficult to resolve and returning the children to their custodial parent usually requires the involvement of the courts. A mother who recently took her four children without notification from their home in Georgia may be charged with custody interference. It has been reported that she took them across state lines to Texas in violation of the court ordered custody agreement.
Texas is one of the states leading the way in redefining what is in the best interest of the child when it comes to child custody, visitation and parenting time. Like many parents, especially fathers, fighting for equal time with their children has been a long time coming. While other states' lawmakers fight over small percentages, Texas has already passed a law allowing non-custodial parents the right to at least 40 percent of parenting time with their children.
The Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott wants to offer assistance to part-time fathers or weekend dads through his office's Fatherhood Program. The program aims to provide help to dads who want to become more emotionally and/or financially involved in the lives' of their children.
The Texas Supreme Court will decide whether or not a mediated custody agreement between parents should be sanctioned, even if a judge believes it is not in the best interest of the child. Mediation for divorcing couples is cheaper, faster and less stressful for all parties involved. Therefore, state law gives our family court judges very little discretion on mediated settlements. The agreements are usually entered into court documents during routine hearings without any objections.