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Custody Interference (Texas)
Custody interference is when one parent refuses to release their child to the other parent (not when they are 5 minutes late, caught in traffic, etc.) for their scheduled visitation time. Unfortunately, it happens all too often and is one of the many games played by “parents” post-divorce/breakup.
Divorce Decree Language
Common language from Divorce Decree referencing Police Officer’s duty in an event of 25.03
Process for handling Interference with Child Custody
REMAIN CALM – which is impossible, but for the sake of your children, you MUST remain calm
Download the visitation enforcement kit, which walks you through the hoops the court will have you jump through
Ensure that you are at the correct location/time for the pickup
- Knock on the door/ensure that the other parent is aware that you are there to pick up the child and either
- Obtain evidence that you were at the correct location, at the right date and time
- Purchase and obtain a receipt at a nearby store/restaurant
Contact the local police department and see if they will file an OFFENSE report (at the VERY least they will have to note that they were there and its on the record).
You can try to show them your paperwork, but know that 95% of the time, you will hear “civil matter”. Stay nice!
If the officer(s) refuse to complete an offense report citing it as a “civil matter” (be sure to audio/video record) thank them for their time and inform them that you will be contacting both their Internal Affairs division to file a complaint as well as submitting a report to the US Department of Justice under their “Deprivation of Rights under Color of Law” via this link.
When completing the report, please understand that it was not due to not due to interference of child custody, but rather due to the fact the officer took no steps to preserve your court-supported possessory rights under state criminal and federal statutes. This youtube video goes into more detail.
Complete the “Visitation Journal” ( see if the LEO or other people will sign and date it)
- Video record/time stamp
- Bring a witness
- Any other evidence
Send notice (preferably certified or other trackable way) to the other parent (3 copies, one for the parent, 2nd for you, and 3rd to file with court) that they did not honor the court order.
Once this has happened with an amount of regularity (think about it from the judge’s point of view over 1-3 missed visits), follow the remaining steps in the enforcement kit and file with your county courthouse.
Videos about 25.03 Custody Violations
Articles/Documents/Data about 25.03
Tarrant County, Texas - Improvements being made
In June 2022, while at the vigil for David Henderson’s son, Corbin, a parent asked about the handling of PC25.03 (Custody Interference) and was told by Tarrant County’s Sheriff that they enforce the law. The Pissed Off Parent provided data showing that it is NOT being enforced.
After following up with Sheriff Waybourn and speaking and educating him on the facts, he appeared on the Larry O’Neal show with an update: