Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
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I need to know if I need a lawyer here in Virginia where I live or do I need to find one in houston tx? .
What state originally put the custody order in place?
Have either of you ever filed a motion to transfer the case to a new state?
Ok, when a court enters a custody or child support order, it retains "continuing and exclusive jurisdiction" over the case indefinitely unless one party files a motion to transfer the case to a new state.
So if it started in TX, and has never been moved, then TX is where you would have to hire a local attorney to file a motion to modify the custody if your ex won't agree to voluntarily do so.
A minor doesn't have the legal ability to determine who they live with. However, the general rule is that if a child is over 12, they can express their opinions about who they want to live with and the judge can consider it. It is by no means determinative or binding on the judge, but it can impact his decision...
But if you think that ex will oppose your motion, even though he is being a jerk to them, it would be a good idea to have a local family law attorney representing you who is known to the local court to present your argument. You want a good local attorney so you can try to influence the judge with a little "home cooking" as judges tend to favor local attorneys that they know personally.
You can contact your local Legal Aid office to see if they can help or refer you to a low cost or pro bono attorney who would assist. You can also contact the state Bar Association to see if they have a list of attorneys who do pro bono family law work.
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