When Can You Deny Visitation to a Non-Custodial Parent in TX?

A non-custodial parent refers to a parent who does not have primary physical custody of their child or children. Despite not having physical custody, non-custodial parents often have visitation rights outlined in a legally binding child custody agreement.

These visitation rights can vary significantly from case to case, but they generally allow the non-custodial parent to spend time with their child on a regular basis. The specifics of these arrangements, such as the frequency and duration of visits, are typically detailed in the custody agreement. In this blog, we will discuss why you cannot deny court-ordered visitation and more.

You Must Obey Court Orders

Court orders play a pivotal role in safeguarding the rights of non-custodial parents. A court order is a legal ruling made by a judge that mandates a certain action or behavior.

In the context of family law, these orders often outline the terms of child custody and visitation schedules, which both custodial and non-custodial parents are legally obligated to follow.

The custodial parent, who is the primary caregiver, must adhere to the visitation schedule set by the court. This schedule outlines when and how the non-custodial parent can spend time with their child. Breaching this order by denying access to the child is considered a violation of the law, which can lead to serious implications.

A parent can face serious consequences for denying their child’s other parent court-ordered visitation, including:

  • Facing contempt of court charges

  • Getting fined by the court

  • Having the court modify your custodial arrangement

In severe cases, a person can face criminal charges. Under Texas Penal Code § 25.03, a non-custodial parent can be charged with a state jail felony if they entice or convince a child to leave the custody, of their parent, guardian, or another person acting in the interest of the parent or guardian, intending to interfere with court-ordered custody arrangements.

What If Your Child Doesn’t Want to See the Other Parent?

You cannot simply deny visitation rights to the other parent if your child does not want to see them. However, you can consider filing for modification of your current visitation agreement if there is evidence that the child's physical or emotional well-being is at risk due to the visits.

What If You Suspect Parental Neglect or Abuse

There are certain situations where denying visitation rights may be justified, such as when there's evidence of abuse or neglect, or if the non-custodial parent poses a risk to the child's safety. However, these are serious allegations that should be proven with substantial evidence.

Emergency Custody Orders

An emergency custody order, also known as a temporary restraining order or protective order, is a rapid and immediate legal action taken to ensure the safety of a child. This type of court order is typically issued in situations where there's a pressing concern about a child's welfare due to abuse, neglect, or imminent danger.

To obtain an emergency custody order, you must provide substantial evidence of immediate danger or harm to the child. This could include:

  • medical records,

  • police reports,

  • photographs of injuries,

  • witness testimonies, or

  • any other relevant documentation that supports your claims.

For instance, if a parent has been arrested for drug possession or domestic violence, these criminal charges could serve as the legal grounds for an emergency custody order. If you are worried about your child’s safety, you should reach out to an experienced custody attorney.

Schedule a Case Consultation Today

Seeking legal counsel is often necessary in these situations to ensure that your rights, and more importantly, the rights of your child, are protected. An experienced family lawyer can guide you through the legal process, help you understand your options, and advocate for your interests in court.

At The Clark Law Firm, our attorneys can help parents with initial custody petitions as well as enforcement and modifications cases. You can trust our team to offer you sound counsel and help you protect your parental rights.

Involved in a custodial dispute? Call (817) 435-4970 toget started on your case today.


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