When a Texas Court issues an order for possession and access (visitation), the order’s terms should be taken very seriously. Suppose a party violates a custody court order by failing to return the child to the other parent for their court-ordered visitation at the time and location referenced in the court order. In that case, the other parent can bring a motion for enforcement against the party. A motion for enforcement of possession and access is a pseudo-criminal action a parent can file to protect their right to time with the child. While enforcement actions must be filed in the family court where the original order was rendered, the repercussions of a successful enforcement action can include remedies more commonly found in criminal courts. An enforcement action may be filed at any time and can be utilized to enforce a temporary or final order. . A party responding to the enforcement action, or Respondent, is entitled to at least ten days’ notice of the motion’s hearing date and must be served with the motion in person. As long as the Respondent receives proper notice of the enforcement hearing, the hearing can proceed as scheduled. Tex. Fam. Code s. 157.062.
Once a hearing is held, the Court will decide as to whether or not the responding party was in violation of the order pursuant to allegations made in the filing party’s motion. If the court finds that a parent failed to comply with the court order on at least one occasion, that parent could face serious consequences, including, but not limited to:
Formerly completed cases follow a different procedure than original cases. Courts may modify an order involving children if modification would be in the best interest of the child and:
A Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship is either a stand-alone lawsuit or the portion of a divorce that relates to child support, conservatorship (decision making), possession and access, and the right to determine the primary residence of the child (custody). We typically see these cases if parents that have never been married decide to separate and have never formally entered into orders concerning their children. A Modification is a lawsuit filed to modify a prior order: