My husband is having difficulties enforcing his visitation rights.
His ex-wife told him the children do not want to come visit him for his parenting time anymore because they do not like me and my children.
She told him he can’t legally force them to come visit.
Is that true? What legal rights does he have to enforce visitation?
I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Texas law where I am licensed to practice.
Legally he can enforce the order for visitation through a Motion for Enforcement. A Motion for Enforcement basically asks the court to take some sort of action against the opposing party that is not following the court’s order.
Your husband has the right to see his children as per the court order and thus can enforce that order through court and ask that his previous wife be held in contempt of court, pay a fine, serve jail time, be liable for attorney fees and even provide him with makeup parenting time for the time he has been denied access to his children.
However, his previous wife may allege that the children do not want to see him, and use that as a defense. Your question does not provide the children’s ages which may make a huge difference in the case.
The mother may file a Motion for the Judge to Confer with the Children. If the children are 12 years of age or older the judge must confer with them. If they are under 12, then it is up to the Judge whether to speak with the children or not. This can be an important factor in the case because the children can then tell the judge why they feel the way they do.
Additionally, at some point (usually teenage years) the children become so involved in extracurricular activities, and hanging out with their friends, that they start to find it inconvenient to go visit the other parent. Most of the time this is out of the primary parent’s hands.
From my experience, most judges will still encourage the children to continue a relationship with dad and will scold the mother who is discouraging a relationship. It is both parents’ duty to ensure that there is close and continuing contact with the other parent.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with an attorney in your jurisdiction.
To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Amanda L. Clepper, an associate attorney in the San Antonio, Texas, office, contact Cordell & Cordell.