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Texas law prohibits child custody interference

You have a custody and visitation agreement in place with your co-parent. However, when you go to pick up your child for his or hers weekend visit, you find that your co-parent has taken him on a weekend trip. Your co-parent is supposed to drop off your child with you for a visit over the holidays but doesn't make it back from a visit to the grandparents until the next day -- cutting short your time with your child. These are just two examples of custody interference. It is not just frustrating and sometimes heartbreaking. It's illegal.

One Texas sheriff, Javier Salazar of Bexar County, is reminding his deputies in their daily bulletin of the specific law that prohibits custody interference. He says he wants his deputies to "know the law and then follow it." He says that it's important both for parents and kids to have the time together that's been designated.

One Texas mother who told her story to the media says, "I went from having a healthy relationship [with her two sons]…to having no visitation." She says that her ex kept her from attending her older son's graduation in California after she flew out there. She says he later began preventing her from seeing their younger son, and that he didn't return the 13-year-old boy to her after a visit.

The mother went to court to enforce the custody order. She says, "They will tell me that it is a civil matter when is not a civil matter. It is a criminal act to withhold a child, preventing the visitation with you."

If your co-parent is not abiding by your custody and visitation agreement, it's essential to understand that they are violating the law. You have the right to seek enforcement of your agreement, which is a court order. An experienced attorney can provide valuable guidance and help you protect you and your child's rights.

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