Defending Enforcement Action On Possession And Access In Texas
In Texas, possession and access orders govern the time each parent spends with their child following a divorce or separation. These orders can be highly detailed and specific, but disputes between parents can arise, leading to requests for enforcement. If you are facing enforcement of a possession and access order, let an enforcement attorney explain your legal rights and options. In this blog, we will discuss how to successfully defend the enforcement of possession and access in Texas, citing the Texas Family Code and referencing relevant case laws.
Defenses Against Enforcement Of Possession And Access Orders
According to enforcement attorneys, if you are facing enforcement of a possession and access order in Houston, you may have several defenses available to you. These defenses can include:
1. Lack of Willfulness
One of the main defenses against the enforcement of a possession and access order is lack of willfulness. If you did not intentionally violate the order, you may be able to successfully defend against enforcement. For example, if you were unable to comply with the order due to unforeseen circumstances, such as illness or a family emergency, your enforcement attorney may be able to argue that you did not willfully violate the order.
2. Good Faith
Another defense against the enforcement of a possession and access order is good faith. If you acted in good faith and made reasonable efforts to comply with the order, you may be able to successfully defend against enforcement. For example, if you were unable to exercise possession and access due to a transportation issue or an unexpected change in the other parent’s schedule, you may be able to argue that you acted in good faith and made reasonable efforts to comply with the order.
3. Ambiguity in the Order
If the possession and access order is unclear or ambiguous, your enforcement attorney may be able to successfully defend against enforcement. The Texas Family Code requires possession and access orders to be specific, clear, and unambiguous. If the order is vague or ambiguous, it may be difficult to enforce, and you may be able to successfully defend against enforcement.
4. Violation by the Other Parent
If the other parent has also violated the possession and access order, you may be able to successfully defend against enforcement. Under Texas law, a parent cannot seek enforcement of a possession and access order if they have also violated the order. If the other parent has also violated the order, you may be able to argue that they are not entitled to enforcement.
Relevant Case Law On Defending Enforcement Of Possession And Access Orders In Texas
Several cases have shaped the interpretation and defense of possession and access orders in Texas. In the case of In re M.S., the Texas Court of Appeals held that a parent’s violation of a possession and access order must be willful to justify contempt of court. The court found that the mother’s failure to comply with the order was not willful because she had made reasonable efforts to comply.
In the case of In re McDaniel, the Texas Court of Appeals held that ambiguity in a possession and access order can be a valid defense against enforcement. In that case, the order was unclear as to whether a holiday period would begin on the day before or the day of the holiday. The court found that the ambiguity in the order made it impossible to determine if the father had violated the order, and therefore he could not be held in contempt.
Enforcements Attorney Consultation
Family law court orders are a critical part of any divorce or child custody matter. They provide direction for the divorcing parties after the resolution of the divorce case. In many cases, people don’t always obey the enforcement of family law court orders in terms of these orders. When this happens, you have legal recourse to obtain their compliance.
Too often, obtaining a court order is only the first step toward solving a problem. Whether you are facing domestic violence from a partner or spouse, being harassed, threatened, or stalked by someone who is not a part of your immediate family, a court order is just a piece of paper unless you can enforce it.
The same goes for any court orders obtained during domestic proceedings, such as divorce. So, the questions are, what kind of court orders can you obtain to protect yourself and your rights, and how do you enforce them?
If you are a party to a family law case, such as a divorce action, child custody, or support action, and you fail to comply with the court’s directive within a court order, you can seek enforcement of that court order. However, enforcing a court order can take a substantial amount of time to get in place. When your spouse or ex-spouse fails to provide access to your children for visitation, which is a violation of a custody order or agreement, enforcement of the court’s order will need to be pursued through contempt proceedings. Many kinds of court orders can apply in a divorce. If you find you need to enforce one or more of these court orders while you are in the middle of a divorce, you should contact Daniel Ogbeide Law for help.
If you are facing enforcement of a possession and access order in Texas, it is important to understand your legal rights and options. You may have defenses available to you, such as lack of willfulness, good faith, ambiguity in the order, or violation by the other parent. It is important to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights. By understanding the relevant laws and case law, you can successfully defend enforcement of possession and access in Texas.