In Texas, all divorce decrees, modification orders, or suits affecting the parent-child relationship contain a possession order, which sets forth when the parties are to have possession of the child.
Most Texas orders also include a provision that usually reads as follows:
“IT IS ORDERED that the conservators shall have possession of the child at times mutually
agreed to in advance by the parties, and, in the absence of mutual agreement, it is ORDERED that the
parties shall have possession of the child under the specific terms set out in this Possession Order.”
In cases where parties cooperate with each other, not following the possession order is not a violation and, many times, is in the best interest of the child. However, in cases where one of the parties violates the possession order without the other party’s agreement, and these violations are frequent, the party may need to ask the Court to enforce the possession order.
If you find yourself in this predicament, here are five options for dealing with the other party not following the possession order:
1. Try talking to your former spouse.
It is essential to see if you can work out the problem amicably without initiating litigation or involving attorneys or the Courts. You may think that your former spouse will not be willing to cooperate, especially given their latest actions. But you definitely will not know unless you try. Using a calm and reasonable approach could allow cooler heads to prevail. Please remember that when you are communicating, a written form is best so that you can use the communication in court if necessary. However, please be mindful that the communication will likely be shown to the judge. Keep that in mind when typing your messages to the spouse who is not following the order.
2. Avoid the problem altogether.
We only added this to drive home the point that this is not a good option, no matter the circumstances. Suppose your former spouse fails to follow the possession order for an extended period, and you do nothing. In that case, the Court may interpret this as you being OK with the other party violating the possession order. Furthermore, this may result in the other party filing a motion to modify the possession order to reflect what the parties are doing regarding the possession of the child.
3. Seek help from an attorney.
Your attorney can draft a demand letter stating what the offending party is doing to violate the possession order and the legal action you will take if they continue down this path. This often corrects the problem by opening positive lines of communication to resolve the issue without Court involvement.
4. Have your attorney file a motion for enforcement.
If the Court grants this motion, it creates several options for the Court to “correct” the bad behavior. The Court must order the party found to have violated the order to pay your reasonable and necessary attorneys fees.
5. File your own motion to modify.
You should still discuss this with your attorney. That said, if you believe the other party’s violation of the possession order creates grounds for modification, you may file a motion to modify the possession order. The requested modification should seek to end the violations of the possession order.
The bottom line is that it is critically important for parents to cooperate in raising their children. Not only does this help avoid legal fees and Court intervention, but working together creates a better environment for the children.
Call Nelson Law Group today!!
We truly believe marriage is worth fighting for. But if divorce is the answer, you need a trusted advisor to guide you through each stage of your divorce, help you deal with the stress that naturally comes with that, and create an environment where you and your former spouse work together to create a positive environment for your children moving forward. We work diligently to achieve a result that ensures you receive what you are entitled to as you move forward onto the next stage of your life. The Nelson Law Group brings nearly two decades of experience in family law to every case.
Call our knowledgeable staff here at Nelson Law Group, PC, if you have any further questions regarding this or any other issue. Our staff is always available. Give us a call today! For more information about Brett A Nelson, click here.
The post My Former Spouse Will Not Follow the Possession Order. Now What? appeared first on Family Law, Divorce, Personal Injury in Texas.
Source: Nelson Law Group