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What to do if you are being denied parenting time

On Behalf of | Dec 9, 2023 | Parental Rights

Parents typically need to spend a significant amount of time with their children to maintain a healthy relationship. Those in a committed relationship with the other parent of their children will usually find it relatively easy to spend as much time as they desire with their children. Unfortunately, the inverse is also often true. When the marital or romantic relationship between parents ends, the change in living arrangements may make it very difficult to spend a reasonable amount of time with the children.

Typically, a custody order will allocate plenty of time with the children to both parents. However, not every adult cooperates with a custody order. How can a parent handle a repeated denial of parenting time in Texas?

They need to keep showing up

The biggest mistake one parent might make when struggling to spend time with their children is to give up and stop arriving for parenting time or custody exchanges. Then the parent denying them access could blame them for failing to show up for scheduled parenting time.

In general, a parent trying to enforce a custody order will need to continue arriving as scheduled for custody exchanges or parenting time even when the other parent has displayed a pattern of refusing access to the children. They need to keep detailed records of every time the other parent denies them time with the children or fails to show up for a custody exchange.

Any time a parent arrives for scheduled parenting time and gets turned away by their co-parent, they should document exactly what happened. Keeping written records of every canceled and shortened parenting session may help frustrated parents prove what they have experienced. They can then present that information to the Texas family courts when they request a custody enforcement hearing.

Potential outcomes

A judge reviewing evidence of repeated custody interference might award one parent additional time with the children to make up for the time that they lost. Other times, they could penalize one parent for interfering with the custody arrangements. They could even modify the existing custody order to award a parent and denied time with the children a greater share of overall parenting time and parental authority.

To obtain these favorable outcomes, the parent not receiving the parenting time they deserve according to a custody order will need to continually show up for the children and maintain thorough records of how the other parent interferes. Additionally, pursuing enforcement of an existing custody order may help a parent in Texas preserve the relationship they have with their children.