One of the most sensitive and complex issues Texas parents will have to deal with during divorce is the issue of child custody (called "conservatorship"). Understandably, both parents will want to maintain strong relationships with their children. This is even more difficult when there are disagreements over how custody should work and how parents should share time.
Custody and visitation can be even more difficult in situations when one parent refuses to abide by the terms of the custody order. If your child's other parent is undermining your rights and violating the custody order, you do not have to hope it gets better or try to resolve it on your own — you have the right to seek a legal resolution to your concerns. Interference with parental rights is serious.
Ongoing custody issues
Simply because the divorce is final does not mean that all custody and visitation issues magically disappear. In fact, parents may find that it becomes increasingly difficult to parent their child well and maintain their parent-child bond when the other parent is uncooperative. If you are experiencing this, you may have questions about what you can do to protect your rights. Some of these questions may include:
- Can a parent stop paying or reduce child support if he or she wants more parenting time? No, a parent cannot use child support payments as a way to get more time with the kids. Modifications to child support orders should go through the court.
- What happens when parents share legal custody but disagree? Parents who share legal custody share decision-making authority. When there is disagreement, both parties still have to adhere to the custody order.
- Can the other parent travel with your child without telling you where they go? This depends on the details of your custody order. It's always beneficial when parents can work together and communicate plans.
In many situations, things that may feel like violations of your custody order are actually just disagreements or inconsiderate behavior. Custody interference includes things like refusing to return your child, moving with your child without permission or doing things in direct violation of the custody order.
If you believe you are experiencing parenting time interference or intentional behaviors meant to hinder your parental rights, you have the right to speak out. It may be beneficial to reach out to a legal advocate to discuss your legal options.