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Interference with child custody

 

While some cases are dire and do require police and the intervention of the criminal courts, some people may use the threat of police and criminal action to provoke and intimidate the other parent. Judges can see right through phony pleas for criminal intervention in family matters, and people who abuse the law and court systems for personal gain may later regret their choices.

Interference with child custody

In the State of Texas, Interference With Child Custody is a named state jail felony in the Texas Penal Code. In certain high-conflict cases where one spouse is out to get the other, some parents contact law enforcement and make complaints that the other parent has violated Texas law by interfering with the child custody order.

Orders regarding the parenting and placement of children are made pursuant to the Texas Family Code. Most parents are joint managing conservators and the children reside with the primary parent while the other may have periods of possession and access, usually set forth in a standard possession order.

Generally, to commit the offense of Interference With Child Custody a person knowingly takes or keeps a child under 18 against the express terms of a court order or judgement regarding the custody of the child. There are a few additional variation of facts and defenses to the criminal charge, which must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, a higher legal standard of proof than in family law cases.

Enforcing court orders regarding children

Joint managing conservators with rights to possession and access either follow the possession orders or parenting plans perfectly, or they may agree to share parenting time fairly and with flexibility and use the court’s custody order when a scheduling conflict arises, and parents cannot agree on where the children will be.

When one parent relies on the set terms of the custody order or parenting plan and the other parent cannot seem to stay on track, it may be appropriate to file a motion to enforce the court order. The non-conforming parent, risking potential penalties for contempt of court, may respond to an enforcement action.

Mixing family law with criminal law

A conviction for Interference With Child Custody as defined by the Texas Penal Code is a state jail felony, a sentence for which is at least 180 days but no more than two years imprisonment. This is a much more serious action than otherwise seeking the family court’s enforcement of custody orders.

While some cases are dire and do require police and the intervention of the criminal courts, some people may use the threat of police and criminal action to provoke and intimidate the other parent. Judges can see right through phony pleas for criminal intervention in family matters, and people who abuse the law and court systems for personal gain may later regret their choices.

Before engaging in self-help, and to learn your best options in enforcing custody and possession orders in Texas, you should contact an experienced family law attorney.

About Scroggins Family Law: Dallas, Collin and Denton County Board Certified divorce and family law attorney Mark Scroggins, and the team at Scroggins Family Law represent clients in a variety of divorce and family law matters.

At Scroggins Family Law, we have more than 20 years of experience with family law cases in Dallas, Denton and Collin Counties. When you retain our firm, you can trust that your case is in the hands of a highly skilled, dedicated professional. We understand the unique challenges of a high value divorce case, and more importantly, have the knowledge and experience you need on your side. Call us today, (214) 469-3100, to learn more about Texas divorce and family law.

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Texas Penal Code Section 25.03, Interference With Child Custody.

Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Why Choose Board Certified?

Keywords: Interference with child custody, enforcing court orders, state jail felony, standard possession order, custody order, parenting, children, Dallas, Texas, Divorce, Scroggins Family Law,