What to do if my ex-girlfriend and I had a daughter shortly after our separation and now I am trying to seek visitation but my ex will not allow me?

My ex will not allow me due to some back child support I owe. My ex is currently with her girlfriend and both of them happen to be on probation. CPS has already been involved with possible abuse that was happening to my daughter by these two individuals in which case I had custody of my daughter for a month. I have tried several different options available to get her back but it seems the every turn I make leads to nowhere. I just want to see my daughter and ensure that she is safe. Is there any advice that you can provide to me as to the next steps that I need to take?

Asked on September 5, 2012 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Child support and visitation are not dependant on the other-- this means that she cannot withhold access to the child for non-payment.  You have a couple of different options if you already have a court order in place for child support and visitation.  The first is to file a motion to enforce visitation rights with the court that issued the original visiation order.  The second option, is to file charges against her with your local law enforcement for interference with child custody if she was ordered to allow you access to the child on a certain date and time and refused.  This is a criminal offense which is a state jail felony in Texas. 

If you don't have official court orders in place, then your first step should be to file what is called a Suit Affecting Parent Child Relationship (SAPCR) to establish that you are dad and get standardized visitation.

Another option.... is to considering filing for official custody.  You would have more success with an attorney because they will know what motions to file. Under the Family Code, they can also file a motion to get access to your ex's CPS file... which could have an impact on custody if the court finds she is not a fit parent.  Having custody would insure that she's safe which is ultimately your goal.


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