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What happens when a spouse violates a custody order?

As a general rule, both parents have the right to spend time with their children after a divorce. However, if your child’s other parent fails to abide by the terms of a custody agreement, there are steps that you can take to hold them accountable. Let’s take a closer look at what you can do if your former partner won’t return your child per the terms of a Texas custody agreement.

Seek relief from a judge

A judge could issue an order requiring your child’s other parent to return your son or daughter as soon as possible. If your former spouse fails to do so, authorities may be able to ensure that your child is reunited with you. It’s important to note that the police will rarely take action in a family law case absent a court order. Your attorney may be able to help you obtain a court order if there is reason to believe that a child custody order has been violated.

Should you try to take the child back yourself?

If you know where your child is, it may be tempting to forcibly remove your son or daughter from a potentially dangerous situation. However, it’s important to note that taking the law into your own hands can put yourself, your child and others at a greater risk of physical harm.

Furthermore, attempting to remove your son or daughter from the other parent’s custody without a judge’s blessing may itself be a violation of an existing court order. Therefore, it may be in your best interest to simply appeal to the other parent’s good nature in hopes of resolving a dispute peacefully before the authorities get involved.

If you’re involved in a child custody dispute, it may be a good idea to hire an attorney to help resolve it. Legal counsel may be able to use an existing court order, statements from the other parent or other evidence to establish that a child is better served by remaining in your care.

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