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ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 11315
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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my ex husband and i share custody of my daughter. he lives

Resolved Question:

my ex husband and i share custody of my daughter. he lives with his parents and they had two other children taken from their home a few weeks ago due to child abuse. im afraid for my daughter can i keep her from going down there untill i get a hearing set up? her father does illegal drugs and he always drops my daughter off when its his visitation days, either with his parents or just a friend. shes came home with head lice twice this month and body lice once last month. i need help i dont know what i can do without making myself look bad. i will give you more info. if needed
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 9 months ago.

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

Customer:

thank you

ScottyMacEsq :

Technically speaking if you don't allow the child to go with the father, that would be "contempt". Contempt is where you are not in compliance with the court order, and the father could take you to court for contempt. It would be in a "motion to show cause and for contempt" proceeding. The "show cause" portion is where you would need to explain yourself. The good news is that a judge will almost never "throw the book" at you when you act in good faith and in the child's best interest. Note that it can in no way be perceived to be benefiting you or to harm the other parent. It HAS to be for the benefit of the child and for the protection of the child. The fact that she has been staying with the grandparents that have had other kids removed due to abuse is very persuasive that this is for the child's best interest. And so long as you can document the other issues (lice, illegal drugs, etc...) then you would have "good cause" to violate the court order.

ScottyMacEsq :

Now that being said, you DO need to file for a modification ASAP. If you file for the modification before the father files for contempt, that's another indication that you're acting in good faith and for the benefit of the child, rather than just to harm the father.

ScottyMacEsq :

I cannot say for certain that you will not get in trouble or not be held in contempt by the court, but 95% of the time where there is good cause to do so, violating the order in the "best interests" of the child is excused by the judge, particularly when you take swift action to get this in front of the judge.

ScottyMacEsq :

Again, the key is to document everything and to be able to prove your assertions. Even testimony that the kids were taken away due to abuse would help and put the burden on the father to disprove those allegations.

ScottyMacEsq :

But you do want to show that you acted for "good cause" when you denied the court ordered visitation.

ScottyMacEsq :

If you feel that the child is in danger, I would even suggest filing for a temporary restraining order against the grandparents (in light of the abuse allegations) and him. That would be a "de facto" order that would mean that he couldn't have the kids in the presence of the grandparents. I would talk to the police about such an order.

ScottyMacEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

Customer:

As long as I file before he files for contempt i wont get in trouble for keeping her. i was gonna file same-day. i cant go today, court house is closed

ScottyMacEsq :

Understood. Again, note that I am NOT saying that you WON'T get in trouble. Rather, I am saying that most likely you won't. It's up to the judge in your matter to say for certain. But you are less likely to get in trouble if you file first, if you have a good reason to withhold visitation, etc...

ScottyMacEsq :

The only sure way that you won't get in trouble is if you already have a court order that modifies it. But to get that will take a bit of time, so until then if you withhold visitation there's a risk (albeit a small one) that you could get in trouble. Again, it's highly unlikely, but it is possible.

ScottyMacEsq :

Of course, you have to do what's right for your child.

ScottyMacEsq :

If I was in your position, I would take that risk.

ScottyMacEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

ScottyMacEsq :

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 11315
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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