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Texas families struggle to enforce custody and visitation orders

A Texas media outlet has made a shocking discovery about how the state's law enforcement officers perceive serious violations to child custody and visitation orders.

News channel KFOX-14 has reported that police and other law enforcement officials in many of Texas' major metropolitan areas do not criminally enforce judicially mandated family law orders. For example, a correspondent for the station spoke with a longtime veteran of the El Paso Police Department who stated that in his many years on the job he rarely saw officers make arrests on violated custody and visitation orders.

This unwritten policy can be bad news for parents who must battle their ex-spouses to see their children. The story interviewed several fathers who had been fighting to enforce their custody orders and who had missed years of their children's lives due to the authorities' unwillingness to get involved.

Though custody and visitation orders are created in civil courts, violations of those orders can result in breaking criminal laws. Many of the parents who had failed to have their orders enforced by the police noted that they were told to contact their civil attorneys about the problems.

Enforcing a child custody order is imperative not only to preserve the agreement made between the parties about their kids but also to uphold the authority of the courts who give those orders judicial weight. Such orders are in essence the documents the dictate the best interests of the children and when they are not followed the affected kids can suffer.

Emotions are always on edge when parents separate but the help of the courts through judicially mandated custody and visitation orders can often smooth over the problems. Anyone who is having trouble having his family law order enforced may wish to speak with a Texas family law attorney to discover his options and regain control of his custody rights.

Source: KFOX 14, "Special Report: Interference with child custody not enforced in Texas," Bill Melugin, Feb. 3, 2014

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