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What Texas law has to say about child custody - V

Last fall, our blog started a series of ongoing posts examining Texas' child custody laws in an attempt to provide some much-needed clarity to parents and debunk some prevailing myths.

In the latest installment, we'll continue our previous discussion of "possession and access," an important legal topic that you more than likely recognize by its more common name: visitation.

Last time, we outlined how even though the courts here in the Lone Star State are generally inclined to let divorcing couples and their attorneys work out acceptable visitation agreements, they will nevertheless step in if couples cannot agree or certain circumstances are present.

This naturally leads to the question of what the courts can do if the parent with primary physical custody refuses to comply with either the agreement or court order concerning visitation in the absence of certain factors (i.e., a belief that the child is in danger).

For example, consider a parent who arrives at the scheduled time to pick up his child for a visit, but the other parent refuses to let the child leave.

In these scenarios, the proper remedy is to appear before the court and request that the presiding judge order the other parent to abide by the visitation schedule. Many times, this action may be enough to spur the other parent into compliance.

However, in the event they fail to comply with this order, the parent being denied their visitation rights can again appear before the court and request that the presiding judge find the other parent to be in criminal contempt, which is punishable by a fine and even jail time.

Future installments of this series will discuss what options a parent has when their child does not want to spend visitation time with the other parent or when a parent fails to spend their allotted visitation time with their child.

Source: Source: Texas Young Lawyers Association, "What to expect in Texas family law court," Accessed March 25, 2015

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