When a child runs away to the non-custodial parent, parenting matters can become instantly problematic, and both parents are often left wondering what to do. Remember to always abide by Texas child custody laws and consult a Richardson child custody lawyer about your case if you encounter issues.
Understanding Texas Child Custody Laws
Divorce affected over 60,000 children in 2006, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The courts review each case individually, and attempt to arrive at custody decisions that are in the best interests of the child.
After a court order detailing custody rights has been made, both parents must abide by it according to Texas child custody laws. If a child – for whatever reason – runs away to the non-custodial parent, both parents are still required to abide by the custody orders in place.
Whether you are the custodial or non-custodial parent, you must report the incident to authorities immediately. Until the court order has been legally modified, you are required to adhere to it, or face charges.
Abuse may also be a factor for a child that runs away to the non-custodial parent. This is an issue that Texas child custody laws do not take lightly. Notify the authorities and seek an emergency modification of the order, which an attorney can help you pursue.
If abuse is a factor in the child’s decision to run away, seek immediate assistance from local authorities. You may start by calling the Texas abuse hotline at 1-800-252-5400, and then begin looking for legal counsel from a Richardson child custody lawyer.
Reasons Child May Run Away to Non-Custodial Parent
Children might want to leave their custodial parent’s home for numerous reasons, such as when they:
- miss their old friends, neighborhood, school, etc.;
- want to spend more time with their other parent;
- are getting older and want to be with the parent of the same sex; or
- are tired of the custodial parent’s rules and discipline, and think the grass may be greener on the other side.
Factors Affecting the Courts’ Custody Decisions
If you or your spouse has recognized that your child isn’t happy with the current living conditions, and you feel that the court order should be changed, you may petition the courts.
When the courts are made aware that the child wants to live with the non-custodial parent, some of the factors that the courts will consider include:
- the non-custodial parent’s location (whether he or she lives in close proximity to the child’s current home);
- the custodial parent’s involvement (or lack thereof) in the child’s life;
- the non-custodial parent’s living situation and ability to support the child;
- any abuse factors;
- any financial, health, or living situation factors that have changed since the original court order was made; and
- the parenting plan.
It all boils down to what the courts deem is in the best interests of the child. If you are creating or modifying an agreement, seek assistance from an attorney.
Avoiding Legal Repercussions
Even in cases where one or both parents are comfortable with the child changing residencies, you’ll still need to abide by custody laws in order to avoid negative legal consequences. Your best bet is to go over the details of your case with a lawyer to ensure your and your child’s rights are upheld.
Discussing Your Case with a Richardson Child Custody Lawyer
Divorce is rarely easy when children are involved. To ensure you are not breaking any Texas child custody laws, and to get the answers to you need to your important legal questions, consult our Richardson child custody lawyer team at Warren & Migliaccio today at (888) 584-9614. When a child runs away to a non-custodial parent, it exacerbates matters and all parties will want resolution as quickly as possible.