The Woodlands Enforcing Custody and Visitation Agreements Lawyers
When a couple with children decides to get divorced, oftentimes both a custody agreement and a visitation agreement will have to be established. These agreements are critical to taking care of and raising a child after a divorce, as they mandate which parent has what form of custody (whether legal or physical), when they have that custody, and if a visitation agreement is necessary, when a parent is allowed to visit with their child.
Unfortunately, parents do not always comply with these agreements after getting a divorce, which can not only cause a great deal of stress or anxiety on behalf of the other spouse or the child involved, but can also result in harm to the child. However, such agreements are legally enforceable, so you can seek support from the law if your ex-spouse violates a custody or visitation agreement.
The attorneys at BB Law Group PLLC are highly experienced in these types of cases, and we will work to effectively enforce the custody and visitation agreements the other parent is violating. Give us a call today at (832) 534-2589 to schedule a consultation.
Why You Need a Custody and Visitation Agreements Attorney
When a custody and visitation agreement is violated, you may be angry or frightened. Your children may feel the same way. You may also feel at a loss of what you can do to protect your child and your family from a parent who crosses legal boundaries, but there are concrete steps an experienced lawyer can help you take to enforce your legal agreements. For example:
- A lawyer can help you determine when it’s appropriate to seek mediation or to call the police, based on the behavior of the offending parent.
- A lawyer can help you gather evidence that details a pattern of a parent breaking custody and visitation agreements.
- A lawyer can draft and send an official letter to the other parent that specifies their violations and demands that they abide by the legal agreements.
- A lawyer can file a motion to enforce, which asks the court to intervene and demand that the parent complies with court orders, and a motion to hold the parent in contempt.
Types of Violations
Many custody and visitation agreements have very specific requirements that apply to both parents. While these agreements will vary from couple to couple, some examples of violations of custody or visitation agreements may include:
- Illegally taking a child from school
- Showing up unexpectedly at a home or school
- Keeping a child longer than an agreement allows
- Refusing to allow the ex-spouse to communicate with a child
- Taking the child on a trip that wasn’t agreed upon by the other parent
- Taking the child to another state
- Allowing someone that isn’t authorized to supervise the child
When an ex-spouse violates a custody agreement or visitation agreement in these or other manners, you do not have to stand for such action. You can seek legal assistance in holding your ex-spouse to the agreements you previously established.
What Happens If the Custody or Visitation Agreement is Violated?
Typically, child custody and visitation agreements are initially created by the parents and their lawyers. Or, if the parents cannot work out their differences, these agreements are decided by the court. Either way, the agreements are reviewed and legally formalized by the court. When one of the parents violates the agreement, it should be taken seriously.
In addition to speaking to an attorney, one of the best things you can do when your ex-spouse violates the court agreements is to be vigilant in obeying them yourself. This will make it impossible for your ex to have any disputation with you.
Also, it is important to document every violation your ex makes. Documenting a pattern of violations will give you valuable evidence when going to court. Keep a journal and calendar that details any transgressions and create a digital record, as well. For example, if a parent denies your visit, you can send a text to reschedule your visit in order to create a record of that event. If the other parent fails to show up at a meeting location, make a purchase from a nearby store to get a receipt as a record of the violation.
Here are a few other ideas to help enforce a court agreement:
- Keep a copy of the court agreement: This helps you have evidence when needing to show the court when the order may have been violated.
- Understand and review the agreement: Continued review and understanding of the agreement will help you know if your ex has violated any section of the agreement.
- Contact your ex-spouse: A soft method to enforce the agreement would not disturb your child’s emotions. Written forms such as a letter requesting them to comply will suffice. We can help you draw up an official letter.
- Contact the police for enforcement: Although the police may not be able to directly enforce the agreement, unless there is the fear of kidnapping or abuse, they can be there when you pick up your child from a visitation.
- File contempt of court: If soft methods don’t work to get your ex to comply, then go to the courts to seek help for compliance. The courts will help determine further action. Our attorneys will guide you through the entire process.
Contempt of Court
Continued refusal to follow the guidelines in the agreement can lead to serious consequences. One of the most serious consequences of violating a custody agreement is the possibility of being found in contempt of court. While it may be a last resort, a parent can file a contempt of court against the offending parent who is disregarding the established agreements. If a parent is found in contempt of court, the punishments may include:
- Fines to the other parent or court
- Jail time
- Parenting classes, counseling, or mediation
- Reducing or taking away custody privileges
- Supervised visitations to ensure the agreement is followed
If you or someone you know has been involved in a custody agreement violation, it is best to contact the attorneys at BB Law Group PLLC. We will help you understand your options and create a clear path for you to take to enforce your child custody and visitation agreements.
Having an ex-spouse violate a custody agreement or visitation agreement can be frustrating and even frightening. Our attorneys at the BB Law Group PLLC understand this and can help anyone in The Woodlands facing such a situation take the legal action necessary to enforce these legally binding agreements. Call today at (832) 534-2589 to learn about your legal options for enforcing custody and visitation agreements.