Is my ex-spouse violating our parenting time agreement?

On Behalf of | May 29, 2020 | Child Custody |

There could be endless obvious or subtle ways for your ex-spouse to disrupt your court-ordered parenting time agreement. 

A family or civil court generally handles these matters, according to FindLaw. However, Texas treats extreme violations very seriously and could bring criminal charges against the offending parent. 

What qualifies as parenting time interference? 

Parenting time interference generally falls into one of two categories: direct or indirect. Direct interference involves physically distancing your child from you. This can include canceling visitation, late drop-offs and taking your son or daughter from your custody without your permission. 

Indirect interference might often be less perceptible, but can be equally effective. Your ex-spouse could use techniques such as refusing your involvement in your child’s school or other events. Indirect disruption may also involve enlisting your son or daughter to keep tabs on your personal life. 

There is a third type of psychological interference known as parental alienation syndrome. Often very serious and damaging, it occurs when your ex attempts to influence your relationship with your child by convincing him or her to hate you. 

Can the court do anything about it? 

Since most parenting time agreements are court-ordered, any encroachment could lead to a finding of contempt, which could be either a civil or criminal charge. In Texas, extreme instances of interference can result in arrest and felony charges. 

However, most cases are less dramatic, and the courts often have a lot of flexibility in determining suitable resolutions. A judge could grant you additional visitation days to compensate for lost time, or issue fines to your ex-spouse and hold him or her responsible for the associated court expenses. Habitual violations of your agreement might result in a short- or long-term alteration of your parenting time order. 



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