Enforcement of Court Ordered Possession and Access

How do I access or visit my children if the custodial parent will not allow me to see my children per the order of the court?

Begin by filing an enforcement action for possession and access. Enforcement is a suit filed to compel an individual to follow and abide by a court order. The Texas Family Code § 157.001 provides a remedy for those seeking enforcement of possession and conservatorship of their children. This particular code section also provides the vehicle for which a parent can enforce child support. Below shows what possible issues an enforcement proceeding may be used for.

MOTION FOR ENFORCEMENT.

(a) A motion for enforcement as provided in this chapter may be filed to enforce a final order for conservatorship, child support, possession of or access to a child, or other provisions of a final order.

(b) The court may enforce by contempt a final order for possession of and access to a child as provided in this chapter.

(c) The court may enforce a final order for child support as provided in Chapter 157 or 158 of the Texas Family Code.

How does the court enforce the order?

The Court of continuing an exclusive jurisdiction(same court where divorce or original SAPCR is filed), will find that the party is not obeying the order and will hold them in “contempt”. By finding the party in contempt, that person could be punished with a fine or jail for up to 180days.

This particular section of the Texas Family Code allows distressed parents a possible solution to violators of court ordered possession and access or child support through the serious threat of contempt, jail, payment of attorney’s fees, and court costs.

If a party is found in contempt, will the judge always order them to jail?

Although it is often important to secure some form of punishment for the past wrongful behavior and some measure of assurance that it will not be occur again  in the future and thereby necessitate the expenditure of time and resources to pursue additional legal proceedings, some judges deal with those concerns by entering an order that holds the party in contempt and orders a jail sentence for that misconduct but suspends the jail sentence and places the party on a lengthy community supervision with the requirement that the person complies with the court’s possession orders and possibly return to court to show compliance with the order.