If a Texas parent violates a custody agreement, this is known as custodial interference. Examples of custodial interference include keeping a child past the agreed-upon time or picking up the child at school when it’s the other parent’s turn.
Most cases of custodial interference can be resolved between the parents. In serious cases, however, a parent may report the interference to the courts and even to police. The consequences of criminal custodial interference could be jail time or supervised visitation to prevent interference from happening again.
Courts recognize that there might occasionally be extenuating circumstances that keep a parent from returning a child on time, such as bad weather. A parent might also violate the custody agreement because of a belief that the child is in some kind of danger from the other parent. If a court agrees with this assessment, it will not be considered custodial interference. Parents could also make an informal agreement to change the custody agreement temporarily based on special circumstances.
Negotiating child custody arrangements can be among the most difficult parts of divorce because of the emotion involved. However, negotiation has some advantages over going to court. A lower-conflict divorce that does not involve a custody battle may be better for children. Furthermore, negotiating a child custody arrangement with attorneys will be cheaper and quicker than going to court. It might also give parents more control over the final agreement. However, if one parent will not cooperate, is neglectful or has issues such as substance abuse problems, going to court might be necessary.