District or county courts handle visitation enforcement cases in Texas. Calling the court’s coordinator first will help you to know exactly which steps you need to take. Texas is one of a few states that establishes parenting/visitation orders as part of the child support establishment process. If you are representing yourself, you—just like a lawyer—are expected to be familiar with the law. This means that the Respondent must be personally served with the Motion for Contempt containing the Show Cause Order. The provisions of the order sought to be enforced (which part of the order they violated); The manner of the Respondent’s alleged noncompliance (what the other parent did or did not do); and. Also, if you amend (update or change) the Motion to Enforce at any time after you have filed it but before the hearing, don’t forget that the Respondent must be served with the amended pleading too. A denial does not include notification by phone or electronically before the scheduled date and time of the visit that you will be denied access. I waited 15 minutes and then went to the convenience store down the street and bought a soda.”). TexasLawHelp.org All Rights Reserved. Check your local listings for mediators or dispute resolution centers. The Texas Family Code requires the motion to include the portion of the order allegedly violated and each date of alleged contempt (Texas Family Code chapter 157.002). If you cannot reach an agreement, you can ask the court to change your visitation schedule so that it’s a better fit. So, it is important to show that a person did violate the order by accident or mistake. Texas is one of a few states that establishes parenting/visitation orders as part of the child support establishment process. It may not be a good idea to have the witness be your significant other or spouse. You must maintain an accurate journal to enforce your visitation/possession rights in court. If you ask for more than six months, then the respondent is entitled to a jury trial. In a court proceeding, what you are asking for is sometimes known as a remedy or relief. Child Visitation and Possession Orders. Only some types of relief are available when you are trying to enforce visitation. There's not much more frustrating than when your former spouse or child's other parent doesn't follow a court order, whether it be to pay child support, to allow for visitation, or anything else related to your divorce or separation. If you do not have an attorney, you can call the Access and Visitation hotline at 1 (866) 292-4636 between 1:00-5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday and speak with a parenting time specialist who can refer you to local attorney resources. The custodial parent’s defense to an enforcement action is that the other parent did not attempt visitation. The court cannot uphold an informal agreement. If the court finds that the enforcement of the order with which the respondent failed to comply was necessary to ensure the child's physical or emotional health or welfare, the fees and costs ordered under this subsection may be enforced by any means available for the enforcement of child support, including contempt, but not including income withholding. The toll-free number 866-292-4636 is answered in English and Spanish, Monday - Friday, 1-5 p.m. Child support courts cannot handle these issues. You may copy those provisions from the prior order, attach the prior order as an exhibit, and “incorporate by reference”—which means writing in the volume and page number of the prior order into your motion to enforce. ). 2. For example, maybe there was mix-up about the correct date for visitation. Unfortunately, it is all too common that a parent “decides” that their child does not “want to go on visitation… When you file a Motion to Enforce for denial of visitation, you are asking the judge to punish the person who was ordered to perform some act that they have failed to do. Prepare questions for them, or have them prepare a statement to tell to the judge. You also may have the option of suing the other parent, and asking the court for damages. Access and Visitation Hotline If you need a copy of your court order, contact the clerk of the district court that heard your case. Download the Visitation Enforcement Kit for more information. This means that your visitation order needs to clearly state a time, place, and date to exchange the children. By using this website, you agree not to sell or make a profit in any way from any information or forms that you obtained through this website. Read the law that governs enforcement actions! Review the documentation that shows the judge your visitation has been denied. FORMS INCLUDED. Should I have the order to appear signed by a judge? Any or all of the services listed above could be court-ordered. This link takes you to TexasLawHelp.org Custody and Visitation Legal Resources page, where you can download free forms that may assist you. ). If a reason is given for the denial, be sure to record that reason in this journal. Jury trials are complicated, so in that case it would be better to be directly represented by an attorney. According to Texas Family Code chapter 157.002, the motion must include the provision of the order sought to be enforced; the manner of the respondent’s alleged noncompliance; and the request for relief by the movant.
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