My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Louisiana and Texas
My son was born in Texas in 2005. His mom and I were not married. Friends with benefits sort of situation. When she informed me she was pregnant I asked her for a paternity test because I did not believe the child was mine. Some documents were filed in Texas court, but long story short when I showed up on the court date she was a no show and the judge dismissed the case because the Mom wasnt pursuing the case. Additionally, the Mom declined to do a paternity test. This further led me to believe that the child was not mine. I heard some time later that the mom had moved to LA where her family lived.
Fast forward 5 years and I am served in Texas with a child custody & child support petition from the state of LA on the child. I hired a lawyer in LA and she helped to facilitate a DNA test. The test was finally conducted and I found out in March 2011 that the child was mine. Recently we have finally come to an agreement on child support, but the Mom is refusing to allow me to spend any time with my son alone. I have been to LA a few times to visit my son and talked to him on the phone almost daily since our first meeting back in August 2011. My son has even asked me a couple of times about when he will get to come to Texas. My son has been very open to establishing a relationship with me and is very comfortable around me as well as my wife. On my last visit the Mom did allow me to spend the entire day alone with my son, but two days after leaving LA the Mom called saying the alone time would not happen again anytime in the near future. It would be (In her words) “A LONG TIME BEFORE YOU SPEND ALONE TIME WITH HIM AGAIN.” The mom mentioned the reason her being so adamant about me not spending alone time with my son is because SHE is not ready to give him up or for fear that I will kidnap him back to Texas. This accusation is preposterous. I am a professional married to a professional and I have never given her any indication that I would act outside of that of a normal law abiding citizen. It’s down right disrespectful if you ask me. I just have to keep a level head and realize that the Mom is just trying to grasp every last piece that she can of my son because she can see that he is developing a relationship with me and it scares her.
In moving forward- I would like some advice on what my options are. Do I have any options with the court system to ask for her to move back to TX? She lives 6+ hours away from my home. I feel like I got a bad shake because she moved from TX to LA without me knowing when I was still unaware that I had a son. Do I have any grounds to ask the Court for full custody based on her past of leaving Texas without me knowing my son?
What state’s law applies?
If LA law applies and if full custody is out of the question, what would the maximum visitation I could get from LA law? Obviously I want my son as much as possible. I have already lost precious time. And would the Mom be responsible for half of the transportation costs when I do get visits?