If the Other Parent Disobeys the Child Custody Order, You Can File a Motion for Contempt to Enforce the Order And Hold Them in Contempt of Court in Texas
When a court issues a child custody order, both parents have a legal obligation to follow its terms. A parent who disobeys the child custody order can be held in contempt of court and face criminal charges, fines, and loss of custody.
The Texas Family Code refers to child custody as “conservatorship.” However, you can still file for child custody contempt in Texas as long as you can prove that the other parent failed to follow the terms of the custody (conservatorship) order.
Contact a League City child custody attorney to help you hold the other parent in contempt of court.
Can You File a Motion for Contempt for Child Custody Violations?
Yes, if the other parent has disobeyed the child custody order, you can file a Motion for Enforcement (by Contempt) to enforce the court order and hold the non-compliant party in contempt.
Once the motion is filed, the parent who allegedly violated the child custody (the Respondent) order will be served with the papers. Typically, motions and other legal documents are delivered by a process server.
Under Texas Family Code § 157.001(c), the motion must include the place, date, and time of each violation. Thus, before filing for child custody contempt in Texas, it is advisable to document every time the other parent fails to comply with the order.
After the motion is filed and served, the parties will attend the court hearing in which the Petitioner will have to demonstrate evidence to prove that the Respondent is in contempt. The Respondent, meanwhile, will have the opportunity to disprove the claims and/or explain why they were not able to follow the terms of the court order.
If the court finds the Respondent willfully violated the custody order, you may recover attorneys fees in addition to other relief.
How to File an Action for Contempt With the Court
When you file a motion for enforcement requesting contempt, the court will schedule a hearing and order the Respondent to attend the hearing to respond to your claims.
When asking the court to enforce a child custody order and hold the other parent in contempt, the motion must include the following elements:
- Which part(s) of the child custody order was violated;
- The manner of the Respondent’s non-compliance; and
- How you want the court to help you, including make-up time, attorneys’ fees, etc.
What Evidence Do You Need to File for Child Custody Contempt in Texas?
While you can file for child custody contempt based on your own testimony, you need to have evidence to support your claims. Evidence that may be available to prove that the other parent disobeyed the custody order include:
- Testimony of witnesses
- Correspondence with the other parent that shows the violation
- Any other documentation and evidence to prove that the other parent violated the custody order
In order to hold the other parent in contempt of court, you will need to demonstrate clear and convincing evidence of willful disobedience. Contact a skilled attorney to help you gather sufficient evidence to file for child custody contempt in Texas.
Your attorney will protect your rights and the best interests of your child. Speak with our League City child custody attorney at Musemeche Law, P.C., to discuss your situation.