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LegalEase, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 897
Experience:  Experience in handling divorces, custody issues and child support quandries.
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In my custody agreement, I am entitled to half of the Christmas

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In my custody agreement, I am entitled to half of the Christmas Holiday with my children. Also, due to the fact my ex moved the kids away, it is my responsibility to pay for the kids to come to visit, but her responsibility to pick them up. My ex is now saying she isn't going to allow me to travel with them since she didn't plan for the return ticket. I already bought my tickets, but her specific response was "Good Luck finding us." What rights do I as a co-parent? We both have joint custody, she's just the home parent in another state.
You'll have to call police in the area and inform them that your ex is denying you visitation. It's a state jail felony in Texas and is also a contemptible offense if brought up in court that also carries jail time.

She doesn't get to say what you do or don't do with children on your time as long as you pick them up and drop them off according to the order. Unfortunately there's not a whole lot you can do before she denies you visitation, short of asking for a clarification from the Judge on how exactly you get to exercise your visitation.
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Is there anything to get clarified considering she moved to Florida? Will Florida support Texas in this?
Unless she had the custody order transfered to Florida, Texas still has jurisdiction, so you could file a clarification here. If she did not transfer the order there, Florida must abide by the out of state order granted by Texas.

So, you can make her come to court here in Texas to enforce your Texas custody order.
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
As a follow up to this question, she did deny me custody when I arrived in Florida. I have it documented with the Palm Beach Gardens police two times - once with an police escort to try and pick them up at the date and time set in the divorce decree and another the following Sunday when the boyfriend's truck was there but she was not. She's now claiming that I am not "cooperating" since I wanted them the entire ten days with my family in Texas and not willing to just have them for a weekend in Florida.

In addition, she's been denying me access to my children even on the phone for months telling me I can only talk with them once a week. We used a formulated divorce degree for Galveston County and there's nothing explicitly stating that she HAS to let me talk with my kids and therefore doesn't. However, we have a joint conservatorship and she is just established as the home parent.

The one mistake I did make was to not limit her geographically. At the time she told me she would take me through the court system to fight that and that she only place she could be was Florida. I agreed, but we included the written information that BOTH parents were to agree on any moves. She actually has moved the children four times since the end of June and my five year old has been in three schools. The last move was explicitly done without my permission. She's also only had a job for a few weeks during any of the moves, is currently unemployed, and about the have the only vehicle she owns be repossesed.

I am ready to move forward with this in the court system. I do not feel my children are in a good position and I get threats constantly that they'll be hungry or homeless if I don't send money above and beyond my child support. My question is this: What is the best possible route to take and what time frame am I looking at?
You can file for modification in Galveston County and tell the court that you no longer believe her being the home parent is in the best interest of the children. You also need to file a motion to enforce your visitation time, as that will be where she is held in contempt.

As for time frame, that will largely depend on the court's docket and her ability to fly back and forth for court. I've seen cases be resolved in as little as 6 months, but realitstically, you're probably looking at a year in the court system to change this.
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