When two people share a child but not a relationship, determining child custody can be difficult. When a family law court creates a child custody order, parents trust that their child’s other parent will honor it. They also assume that if the order is violated, they can rely on the police and courts to enforce it. However, several parents in one area of Texas say that they are having great difficulty getting their child’s other parent to follow what they assumed was an already settled child custody agreement.
Local news media in El Paso found records stating that from 2014 to 2016, over 4,000 complaints alleging child custody interference were filed. Only 229 of those reports were turned over to the district attorney and only 11 of those cases resulted in an indictment. The district attorney says that the cases should be handled by the court and that they are civil matters.
In the meantime, several parents say that the result is that they haven’t had any contact with their children. One father said it had been three years since he’d seen his children. All of the parents interviewed by the local media outlet say that the time they’ve lost with their children is precious. The parents allege that police will not arrest parents who violate child custody orders because the officers know that the district attorney will not prosecute the case. Interference with child custody is a felony, but the parents say it is not being enforced.
If a parent here in Texas is having difficulty getting another parent to honor a child custody order, he or she may want to seek the counsel of an experienced attorney. An attorney with knowledge of this area of family law can help with enforcing or modifying a current custody order or in creating an order where one does not already exist. The attorney can also represent the best interests of a parent who is not being allowed to see his or her children.