My Ex Will Not Follow the Child Custody Order in Houston: What are My Options?
For parents, there are few things more stressful than going through a custody dispute. When an agreement is finally reached or a legal order is entered, it can come with a great sense of relief. Unfortunately, it is not always the end of the process. You may end up dealing with a co-parent who consistently or seriously violates their responsibilities under the arrangement.
As frustrating as custody violations are, it is important to emphasize that you have legal options available. Your parental rights matter and they must be protected. In this article, our Houston child custody lawyers highlight three key steps you should take if your former partner is not following the custody arrangement.
How to Address Child Custody Violations in Houston, TX
- Notify Your Former Partner
As a starting point, parents always should give notice to their ex that a breach of the custody agreement/order has occurred. In some cases, notifying your partner can help spur a productive conversation that helps to resolve the issue. In other cases, you may be dealing with an ex who simply refuses to cooperate. Regardless, it is best practice to notify your co-parent. In doing so, you should calmly explain how and why their conduct violates your rights.
- Document Any Custody or Visitation Violations
Beyond notification, you should also document custody violations. Should you need to pursue legal action, the documentation will serve as the evidence you need to present a strong case. The more evidence, the better. Documentation can come in a wide range of different forms. Among other things, it includes writing down comprehensive notes about what happened.
- Be Proactive: You Have Many Options Available
Finally, parents should be proactive in addressing custody violations. The longer a co-parent’s breach of the agreement/order is allowed to persist unchallenged, the more difficult it is to fix the problem. As a general rule, it is best to address custody violations at the lowest possible level of conflict, only escalating the matter as necessary. Some of your specific options include:
- An informal conversation with a co-parent;
- Formal custody/visitation mediation;
- Sending an official legal notice to cease-and-desist violative conduct; and
- Filing a complaint with a Texas family court.
You may be entitled to relief for custody/visitation violations. In Texas, all custody and visitation disputes are handled under the state’s best interests of the child standard (Texas Family Code (Chapter 153 §153.002). Parental cooperation is a relevant factor in applying this standard. It is not in the child’s best interests for a parent to violate the terms of the custody or visitation arrangement.
Schedule a Confidential Consultation With a Houston Child Custody Lawyer
At Lindamood & Robinson, P.C., our Texas child custody attorneys are compassionate, reliable advocates for parents. If you have any questions about responding to child custody or child visitation violations, we are available to help. Contact us today at 713-654-2112. With a legal office in Houston, we serve communities throughout Southeast Texas, including in The Woodlands, Baytown, Humble. Spring, Pasadena, and Galveston.