If you’re the noncustodial parent and your child’s other parent is not letting you see your children, it can be extremely frustrating, not to mention heartbreaking. If your automatic response is to stop paying child support, please don’t. Child custody and child support are two separate matters, and parents cannot stop paying child support if they can’t see their children.
If you stop paying child support, the balance you owe will continue accruing, and if you willfully disobey your child support order, you can face serious consequences, such as license suspensions (e.g. driver license, professional license and hunting license), the denial of a US passport (if you owe more than $2,500), wage garnishment, bank levies, and so on. “But if I can’t stop my child support payments, what legal recourse do I have?”
You Do Have Legal Recourse
Before we discuss your legal recourse, it’s important to clarify what “denial of visitation: means under Texas law. A noncustodial parent is technically denied visitation when he or she appears in person at the pickup location listed in their court order, and the child is not there. You must arrive at the pickup location in-person, even if the other parent told you the child would not be there when you pick up your child.
When the custodial parent fails to produce your child at the pickup location at the time and date listed in the order, he or she is violating the court order.
Keep a Visitation Journal
In these situations where noncustodial parents are being denied visitation, it is often helpful for them to keep a visitation journal to keep track of their visitation and whether or not the other parent is letting them see their children. A detailed journal helps the noncustodial parent have a record of what has been going on in case he or she needs to go back to court to enforce their visitation rights.
If you arrive at the pickup location at the time and date you’re supposed to be there, knock on the door and wait. Then, knock again. If your child isn’t produced, immediately write down exactly what happened in the journal. To strengthen your case, keep detailed notes, such as the time, date, and location where you tried to pick up your child.
If you are having an issue enforcing a visitation order in Katy or Cypress, contact Hunt Law Firm, PLLC for professional legal assistance.