Television personality Jesse James is currently involved in a custody dispute with ex-wife Janine Lindemulder. James received permission from a California court to move with his daughter to Austin, Texas, from Orange County California, as long as he allowed Lindemulder to have extended visitation time.
Lindemulder claims that James is not allowing her scheduled parenting time, in violation of the California court’s order. James had petitioned to have the hearing on these claims in a Texas court. The California court refused James’ request to move the hearing.
James had recently questioned his ex-wife’s fitness as a parent. In October of 2008, the custody order was modified after Lindemulder was sentenced to federal prison for tax evasion. After her release, Lindemulder, a former adult film actress, appeared in another adult film. Lindemulder has stated that she is now finished with the industry. James contends that this directly impacts her fitness as a parent, and therefore that she should not be allowed to have custody or visitation with their child.
Child Custody Law in Texas
Even though the details of this case are being played out in public, many parents find themselves in similar custody situations. Custody is awarded based on the best interests of the child. If the parties can work out a parenting plan, it keeps the court from having to make a decision based on limited information.
The rules in Texas permit a change of custody when material changes justify the modification. If one parent is unfit to care for the child, the noncustodial parent may request that the court change the custody agreement. The party requesting the change will need to show how circumstances have changed, and show why they are more qualified to care for the child.
If you have questions about an existing custody order, or are in a current custody dispute, contact an experienced family law attorney to discuss your options.