Can a father refuse visitation for all 4 children while he starts the process of taking the mother to court for terminating rights?

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Can a father refuse visitation for all 4 children while he starts the process of taking the mother to court for terminating rights?

Father has sole conservatorship on 3 children and court ordered to provide supervised visitation with mother. Mother tested positive for drugs while pregnant with 4th child and CPS gave possession of 4th child to father.

Asked on November 7, 2012 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It sounds like there are orders for the first three children, but not the fourth-- based on your question.  If there are no orders in place for the fourth child, then father can refuse visitation for that child without any issues-- because he is not in violation of a court order.

With regard to the first three children.... if there is a court order in place that allows mom visitations, then he should allow visitations as set out in that order.  Failure to follow that order could result in him being charged with contempt or with the criminal offense of "interference with child custody."  However, in Texas, a defense to this criminal charge is that the person was attempting lawful custody-- so if he moves forward with the custody process, then he may be able to avoid criminal charges.  So, the bottom line is that technically, no, he cannot deprive mom access to the other three, but if mom tested positive for drugs while pregnant, his defense may be successful.


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