Non Custodial Parent Refuses To Return Child
Custodial parents share various rights and responsibilities with non-custodial parents. However, only the custodial parent gets to provide the primary residence of the child. Sometimes a non-custodial parent can complicate things when the non-custodial parent chooses to abduct the child. A non-custodial parent is considered to have abducted their child if the non-custodial parent takes the child without permission, or refuses to return the child to the child’s primary residence. Consult an experienced Texas child custody lawyer if the non-custodial parent has abducted your child.
What To Do If Child Is Abducted By Non-Custodial Parent
Before taking any major steps, the custodial parent should try to persuade the other parent to return the child. This can help the custodial parent avoid costly litigation. The child may also run away from the non-custodial parent and return to you. Police officers will not be able to enforce a civil order of custody unless the custodial parent gets a court order signed by a judge. You should seek this court order and get the police involved if you fear that the child might be harmed.
Even if the non-custodial parent crosses international borders with the child, you still have legal tools you can use to ensure the safe return of your child. You should also consider seeking an adjustment to custody orders if the non-custodial parent refuses to cooperate with the terms of your custody order. For example, you can seek for termination of visitation rights for the non-custodial parent in this situation.
Child Custody In Texas
Texas law refers to custody as “conservatorship” and is used in situations where the court is considering the legal and physical aspects of how divorced parties share their children. In Texas, judges often issue child custody orders that are in the best interest of the child. These orders are meant to ensure that the child:
- Has continuing contact with the parents
- Is raised by both parents even if they have divorced or separated
- Lives in a safe, stable and nonviolent environment
But while both parents are expected to share in the rights and duties of raising the child, only one parent is given the responsibility of providing the primary residence of the child. The parent that lives with the child is called the primary conservator while the other parent retains visitation rights. Parents often disagree on who among them is able to provide the primary residence for the child.
Visitation Rights Of Non-Custodial Parent
Unless the parental rights of non-custodial parents are stripped by a court of law, all parents of the child have certain duties and rights. Apart from paying child support which is based on the noncustodial parent’s net income, the noncustodial parent has the legal right to spend time with the child. The non custodial parent has visitation:
- First, third and fifth weekends of every month
- Thursday evening of each week
- Up to 30 days during summer vacation
- Alternating holidays such as Thanksgiving