If My Child Does Not Want to Follow the Possession Schedule, What can I do?
Unless you have a valid reason, you could end up facing potentially serious penalties if your child does not follow the possession schedule.
For unmarried parents and those going through a divorce, matters pertaining to child custody are among the most hotly contested. In addition to protecting your own rights as a parent, you want to be sure any arrangements are in your child’s best interests. If your child is unhappy during visits, it will be hard to let him or her go. However, once the judge issues an order in your case, it must be followed to avoid potentially harsh penalties. While you can be held liable if your child fails to follow the existing possession schedule, there are circumstances in which you may be able to request changes to the underlying order.
Under the Texas Family Code, parents have several options in terms of raising their child when they are no longer together or in the aftermath of a divorce. Joint parenting plans are encouraged, which allow the child to spend equal amounts of time in each parent’s home. However, in some situations, it may be more appropriate to award one parent primary custody while the other has only visitation. Factors the judge will consider in these cases include each parent’s relationship with the child, their ability to provide for the child’s needs, and the existence of any circumstances that could put the child in jeopardy.
Once a final order is in place, the parents must follow it. Interfering with this order in any way could result in contempt of court charges. Even if the child was the one who refused to go to the other parent’s home, you could still be liable for payment of damages, which include court costs, fines, and the other parents attorney fees. Interfering with a custody plan could also put your own parental rights in jeopardy.
Older children and teenagers can be stubborn and there are numerous reasons why they may not want to visit the other parent’s home. They may be worried about you or angry with the other parent over your breakup, or the location could cause them to be separated from their friends. When addressing these types of issues with your child, you should emphasize how his or her actions could leave you facing serious penalties.
In the event that there are more significant reasons that your child does not want to visit the other parent, such as feeling unsafe or neglected while there, our attorney can assist you in filing the appropriate documents with the Brazoria County Family Court in an effort to get the child custody order changed.
To avoid putting yourself at risk of suffering serious penalties, including the possible loss of your own parental rights, reach out to John Powell III, P.C. for help in resolving issues related to your possession schedule. Call or contact our Pearland child custody attorney online to request a consultation today.