What to Do if My Ex-Spouse is Denying Visitation and Refuses to Let Me See My Child
Austin child custody attorney explains what to do if your ex-spouse is denying visitation. Call (833) 553-4251 today to schedule a strategy session.
Paul has been divorced from his ex-spouse for nearly a year, but the pain of the divorce has not faded. The only light in his life is his six-year-old son Jay, whom he adores.
Paul cherishes every moment he spent with his son, but now his ex-spouse is denying visitation despite what the court order said. The stress and frustration of not seeing Jay was taking a toll on Paul, but he knew the situation was even harder on his son. Paul knew he needed to resolve the issue, yet he was unsure of the steps to take.
If your ex-spouse is denying visitation by refusing to let you see your child in Texas, you need to know that you have options to remedy the situation. At Kimbrough Legal, PLLC, we hear stories like Paul’s far too often, which is why we wanted to share some steps you can take if you are dealing with this issue. Call us at (833) 553-4251 to schedule a strategy session so you can discuss your options with an Austin child custody attorney.
Kimbrough Legal, PLLC: Managing The Present, Securing The Future.
Understand Your Rights as a Parent
First and foremost, understand your rights as a parent. In Texas, visitation orders, formally known as "possession orders," determine when each parent has the right to spend time with their child. Regardless of the conservatorship designation, each parent has the right to possession and access.
The Texas Family Code states that both parents must follow the court order. Failure to comply with the order can result in legal consequences, such as fines or imprisonment.
Review Your Visitation Order
The first step is to review your visitation order to ensure you are abiding by your appointed schedule for visitation and following any requirements. This includes showing up on time for scheduled visits and following any specific instructions listed in the order.
Write down the date and time of each missed visitation and the reasons that were given by your ex-spouse for the denial. Keep copies of any communication you have had with your ex-spouse about visitation, including text messages, emails, or voicemails. This documentation will be critical if you need to take legal action.
Communicate With Your Ex-Spouse
At this point, you're likely frustrated and angry with your ex-spouse. However, try to resolve the issue amicably with them if at all possible. Sometimes communication can break down, and misunderstandings can arise.
Do your best to communicate with your ex-spouse calmly and respectfully without getting emotional or angry. Keep a record of all communication. If communication is unsuccessful, consider using a child custody mediator.
Hire a Child Custody Mediator
Mediation can be a cost-effective and less adversarial alternative than going to court. A child custody mediator is a neutral third party who helps resolve conflicts between two parties. You can use mediation as an attempt to resolve the issue of why your ex-spouse is denying visitation and refusing to let you see your child.
Find a qualified mediator and attend the session in good faith. Bring all relevant documentation, including the visitation order and any evidence of denied visitation. The mediator will work with you and your ex-spouse and attempt to develop a mutually agreeable solution.
Contact an Austin Child Custody Attorney
If you have tried to resolve the issue with your ex-spouse but have been unsuccessful, it's time to contact an Austin child custody attorney. Your attorney can help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights as a parent.
Your attorney can help you file a motion to enforce visitation, requiring your ex-spouse to comply with the court order. If your ex-spouse continues to deny visitation, they can be held in contempt of court, resulting in fines, community service, or even jail time.
What Not to Do if Your Ex-Spouse Denies Your Visitation Rights in Texas
If you're a non-custodial parent in Texas and your ex-spouse denies your visitation rights, it can be a frustrating and emotional experience. However, knowing what not to do in this situation is equally important as knowing what to do. Here are some things to avoid:
Don't Take Matters Into Your Own Hands
It may be tempting to take matters into your own hands by showing up at your ex-spouse's house unannounced or taking the children without permission. However, this can lead to legal trouble and make the situation worse.
Don't Stop Paying Child Support
Visitation rights and child support are separate issues, so even if your ex-spouse denies you visitation, you still need to continue paying child support as ordered by the court.
Don't Badmouth Your Ex-Spouse to Your Children
Do not badmouth your ex-spouse or speak negatively about them in front of your children. This can cause unnecessary stress for them and potentially harm their relationship with their other parent.
Don't Ignore the Problem
Ignoring the problem won't make it go away. Take action and seek legal help if necessary. Remember that every situation is unique, so it's beneficial to consult with a child custody attorney familiar with family law issues if you're experiencing a denial of your visitation rights in Texas.
Where You Can Go for Support
If you’re struggling emotionally due to your ex-spouse denying visitation, there are some steps you can take to seek support and help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety you may be experiencing while you work to resolve the visitation issues.
Reach Out to a Therapist or Counselor
A licensed therapist or counselor can provide a safe space to express your feelings and work through any emotional challenges you may be facing.
Join a Support Group
Connecting with others who have gone through similar experiences can be incredibly helpful. Look for local support groups for parents dealing with custody or visitation issues, or consider joining an online community. Some of these communities are focused specifically on fathers' rights or mothers' rights, while others are more general in nature.
Lean on Friends and Family
Don't be afraid to contact loved ones for emotional support during this difficult time. They may be able to offer helpful advice or simply lend a listening ear.
FAQs About Visitation Rights in Texas
Here are some FAQs our office receives about visitation rights in Texas:
Q: What are visitation rights?
A: Visitation rights are the legal rights of a non-custodial parent or other authorized persons to spend time with a child.
Q: Who has the right to visitation in Texas?
A: The non-custodial parent usually has the right to visitation in Texas. However, grandparents, stepparents, and other relatives may also have visitation rights in certain circumstances.
Q: What factors determine visitation in Texas?
A: The court considers many factors when determining visitation, including the child's best interests, the parent-child relationship, the child's age and needs, and the child's preferences.
Q: Can visitation be denied in Texas?
A: Visitation can be denied if the court determines it is not in the child's best interests. However, a non-custodial parent's visitation rights cannot be terminated unless there is a significant change in circumstances.
A: Can visitation rights be modified in Texas?
A: Yes, visitation rights can be modified if there is a significant change in circumstances, such as a job relocation or a change in the child's needs.
Q: Can a parent deny visitation if the other parent is not following court orders?
A: No, a parent cannot deny visitation if the other parent is not following court orders. The proper legal recourse is to file a motion to enforce the court order.
Denied Visitation? Call an Experienced Austin Child Custody Lawyer at Kimbrough Legal, PLLC
If your ex-spouse denies visitation in violation of a court order, you must protect your rights as a parent and ensure that your child's best interests are being served. At Kimbrough Legal, PLLC, we understand the challenges that can arise after a divorce is final, and we're here to help.
Our experienced Austin child custody lawyers can provide you with the guidance and support you need to enforce your court order and protect your relationship with your child. Don't wait to take action. Schedule a strategy session with our team at Kimbrough Legal, PLLC, today by calling (833) 553-4251 or filling out our online form.
Kimbrough Legal, PLLC: Managing The Present, Securing The Future.
Copyright © 2023. Kimbrough Legal, PLLC. All rights reserved.
The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
Kimbrough Legal, PLLC
5920 W. William Cannon Dr., Bldg 3, Ste 400
Austin, TX 78749