Houston Child Access Enforcement
After the breakdown of a marriage, the thing that people are often the most concerned about, is what the child custody arrangement will look like. Parents have rights and responsibilities towards their children, and the primary caregiver should facilitate visitation for the other.
If your ex-spouse is preventing you from seeing your children, then you should contact a Houston family law attorney who can help protect your rights. An attorney will either help you file a motion for contempt or a motion for enforcement.
Contact Skillern Firm Today to Protect Your Rights
Skillern Firm is committed to offering high-quality legal representation to people facing family law issues in the Greater Houston Area. We are uniquely prepared to handle even the most high-conflict and complex child custody issues and have a long history of favorable outcomes to draw upon.
Our approach to the attorney-client relationship is unmatched; we will inform you about your rights so that you can make decisions from a place of clarity. We take the time to learn what’s important to you so that we can best represent your interests.
If your ex-spouse is refusing child visitation, then we will explore enforcement remedies that are available to you. Alternatively, if you have been served enforcement, we will advise you on your next steps. We will mediate where possible but are equally prepared to take your case to court if appropriate.
Arrange an initial consultation with a Houston child access enforcement lawyer at 936-213-8479.
What is an Enforcement?
A court order is legally binding, including temporary orders, and stipulations laid out in a divorce decree. If someone refuses to comply with a court order, then you can ask the court to compel them to oblige. The court could punish their non-compliance through sanctions such as probation, fines, and even a jail sentence.
What Can Be Enforced?
Any court order can be enforced, including court-ordered visitation. If your ex-spouse is refusing visitation with your children, then you will need to prove the respondent’s alleged noncompliance.
It is beneficial to seek the help of a Houston child access enforcement attorney who can advise you on your next steps. They will assess whether it is appropriate to file enforcement. An attorney may advise you to try and mediate with your ex-spouse first in order to protect important relationships.
What if an Enforcement was Filed Against Me?
If an enforcement has been filed against you, then you should contact a Houston child access enforcement lawyer here at Skillern Firm. Enforcement should be taken seriously, as if you are found guilty of contempt, you could be facing serious ramifications, including jail time. You may also be ordered to pay the other party’s attorney’s fees.
At Skillern Firm, we will assess your individual case so that we can inform you of your rights and determine the best strategy to defend your case. If you have refused visitation to noncustodial parents, then we may be able to help find a way forward that serves everyone’s best interests.
It is important to always follow court orders, even if your ex-spouse has behaved badly. At Skillern Firm, our attorneys are all trained mediators. We can help you sit down to reach an amicable agreement about the best way forward.
Steps to Take Before Going to Court For Enforcement Action
If you are being refused access to your child, then you will understandably be feeling a lot of frustration. Sometimes a court order is necessary to protect your rights as well as your child. However, before you involve the court, parents are required to try to resolve their differences outside of court.
At Skillern Firm, our family law attorneys are skilled mediators. We will help you resolve the differences you and your ex-spouse have in a healthy and productive way. Hopefully, this will result in you having full access to your children again and an improved relationship between you and your child’s custodian.
However, if the other party refuses to cooperate then, Skillern Firm will help you proceed with court action.
Child Custody and Visitation Modification
If an agreement cannot be reached, or if the visitation is being denied because the agreement you have doesn’t easily fit in with your child’s schedule, then you may choose to file for a modification.
A modification changes a court order; however, in order to be successful, you will need to prove that there has been a substantial change in circumstances and that the modification is in your child’s best interests.
How to Evidence Your Claims to the Court
If you do decide to continue with court action for child access enforcement, then you will need to prove that visitation has been denied. In order to do that, you will need substantial evidence.
It is a good idea to keep an accurate journal regarding when visitation is denied. If there is a reason given for denying visitation, then you should also keep a note of this.
If your child’s custodial parent notify you electronically or by phone that you will be denied access, then this may not be sufficient if you do not physically try. However, it is a good idea to keep a record of all texts and calls relating to refusing access to your child.
You should go physically to the appointed place to pick up your child at the exact time ordered by the court. If you do, and you are refused access to your child, then this is a clear refusal of a court order. If possible, you should take someone with you who can then act as a witness and may testify in court if necessary. Try to ensure the witness is an impartial party and not a new spouse.
If you are supposed to be meeting your child at a commercial business such as a restaurant, then you should also keep receipts to prove that you were there.
If you are denied access to your child when you arrive, then you should avoid contributing to conflict. Instead, leave and make a record of the denial. Before the next date, when you are supposed to be with your child, contact them and see if you can pick up your child at a place other than their homes, such as a grandparent’s home or a friendly place of business.
Your journal should include:
- Dates and times of denial
- Any reason was given for the denial
- What occurred, i.e., the door wasn’t answered, or you were told to go away
- Names of any witnesses to the denial
Do I Have to Physically Try and Pick Up My Child if I Am Told Visitation Will be Denied?
Yes, you will be unable to claim that you were denied visitation unless you appear in person as per the court order. This is the case even if the other parent has told you that your child will not be there or you will not be granted access to them.
What to Do in High-Conflict Situations
If there are a lot of arguments or there has been any physical violence, then it is important you take steps to protect your children. At Skillern Firm, we can help you file a protection order to keep your ex-spouse away from you and your child if necessary.
Depending on the circumstances, the court may order for the children to be exchanged at a neutral site, and visitation may need to be supervised. One or both spouses may have to cover the cost of this.
The Benefits of Using a Houston Child Access Enforcement Attorney From Skillern Firm
Family law matters that involve children always involve a lot of emotion. It can be incredibly stressful and upsetting to be denied access to your children, but it is important that you tread carefully in order to protect important relationships and, ultimately, your children.
Having the right attorney can make a world of difference. When you have an attorney by your side who takes a compassionate approach and truly has your best interest at heart, you may be able to achieve things that have seemed impossible.
At Skillern Firm, some of the traits that we pride ourselves on include:
We Prioritize Mediation, But Are Also Skilled Litigators
If you have been denied access to your child, then your initial reaction could be to push forward with court action. However, many couples are surprised by what they can achieve with our help.
That being said, where mediation fails, we will be prepared to protect your rights by going through the court process.
At Skillern Firm, we have a long list of happy clients behind us, and this experience means that we are prepared to handle whatever your case throws at us. We are dedicated to family law in the Greater Houston Area, which means that we help people like you every single day.
We have a team of family law attorneys with a broad range of skills and experiences. We will assign the person best suited to your case; this ensures that your attorney will be able to handle the complexities of your case with a professional and compassionate approach.
At Skillern Firm, we take the time to understand the specifics of your case and what’s important to you so that we can tailor our service. We truly care about your future and are available for a sympathetic ear when you need it.
Arrange a Consultation With a Houston Child Access Enforcement Lawyer Today
As a parent, you deserve regular access to your child, and your child has a right to the love and support of their parent. Whether you have been denied access to your child or you are facing enforcement proceedings, contact the Skillern Firm to find out how we can help.
We take a careful and compassionate approach and will prioritize mediation to protect relationships where possible, but we will not be afraid to take court action if needed.
Family dynamics are complex, but when you have an impartial third party who is committed to your best interests, you can begin to move forward with your life.
Call us today to arrange a consultation with a Houston family law attorney at 936-213-8479.