If you’ve gotten a divorce and have children, you must have a custody agreement. Even if this agreement is something you and your ex have worked out together, there must be something in place. Most people have a court order that outlines the custody agreement. This is drafted by their family attorney in Houston and is part of the Marital Settlement Agreement.
Most couples put a fair custody agreement into place when they separate. If you and the other parent were never married, you should still have something in place through the courts. Usually, when you get a child support order, there will be an accompanying order dealing with custody and visitation.
There are a few common visitation schedules used in Houston:
- The primary parent has the children during the week and every other weekend
- The non-custodial parent has the kids every other weekend and maybe one night during the week
- Some parents use one week on, one week off where the parents each keep the children half the time
- One of the other options is for one parent to have the kids Sunday through Wednesday and the other parents has them Thursday through Saturday
No matter what your arrangement, you should get your kids when you’re supposed to. One of the biggest problems family lawyers in Houston deal with are parents who won’t abide by the custody agreement. Whether it’s because they’re mad that child support is late, some parents refuse to let the other parent have the children. This can be very frustrating. If this happens to you, call your Houston family law firm to help.
Can Your Ex Withhold Visitation?
The court order for child support and custody is a civil order. This means that the police cannot do anything to enforce it. In fact, they won’t do anything to enforce it. For some reason, your first reaction when your ex won’t let you have the kids is to call the cops. They will come out. But there’s nothing they can do to make your ex give you the children.
If your ex isn’t honoring the custody agreement, you’ll have to rely on the courts for help. Your family attorney in Houston will file a motion on your behalf. He’ll let the judge know that your ex is refusing to honor the child custody agreement. He’ll ask that the other parent be required to let you see your kids.
If the other parent refuses to comply, they could be held in contempt of court. The just may even modify the custody agreement so that you’re the primary parent. However, this won’t force your ex to do what you want. It simply gets the court to intervene and try to make sure they do the right thing.
Is it Kidnapping?
Some people think that if you refuse to let your ex see the kids it’s kidnapping. This isn’t technically true. From a legal perspective, both parents have custody of the kids. This means they both have a right to have the children. Not allowing the other parent isn’t really the same as kidnapping. It is simply a violation of a court order.
The best thing for you to do is call your lawyer. He can reach out to your ex’ lawyer and try to get him to talk to her. He may not even be aware of what his client is doing. Sometimes, all it takes is a phone call from your lawyer to get you to do the right thing.
Now, if your ex takes the children and leaves the state, that is another story. If you don’t know where she’s taken then, you can ask that charges be filed. However, this is usually something handled by the family courts, not the criminal courts.
Contact a Family Attorney in Houston
If your ex isn’t complying with your custody agreement, you need to call a family attorney in Houston. He has experience handling legal issues just like yours. He’ll reach out to your ex’ lawyer and try to resolve the matter. If he’s unable to do this, he’ll file a motion on your behalf to enforce the custody agreement.
You have a right to legal custody. Don’t allow your ex to infringe on your time with your children. Call and schedule a consultation with a family attorney in Houston today.