Navigating divorce and custody cases can be stressful and challenging. Unfortunately, in some instances, the strain is magnified when a co-parent threatens to take a child or children from the home. Such situations can leave the other parent feeling overwhelmed, terrified and helpless.
In these cases, there are several steps a parent can take to attempt to resolve the situation and minimize time away from their children.
- Determine whether the child is in immediate danger. If your child or children have been taken by a co-parent, or a co-parent is threatening to remove them from the home, assess whether you or your children are in immediate danger. If they are, call 9-1-1 immediately.
- Find an attorney. If the police are unable to take action because they view your situation as a civil matter, seek the help of an attorney. Your attorney can help you get a prompt hearing before a judge who can provide an emergency order.
- Document the danger. You will need proof that you and/or your children are in immediate danger from a co-parent. Your attorney can help you assemble paperwork necessary for demonstrating this to the judge.
In Travis, Williamson and Hayes county, when you file your petition for divorce or petition in a custody case, there is a standing order. That order forbids the threat of hiding the children or keeping the children from another parent. Although this order offers you and your children protection, you may not get into court immediately to address threats from a co-parent who wants to take a child away. Depending on scheduling, it could take 7-14 days, so it is very important for a parent to see an attorney immediately so the timeline isn’t stretched out.
At Sandoval Law Firm we understand the stress of dealing with divorce, child custody and domestic abuse and violence. Our firm consists of founding attorney Raul Sandoval Jr. and a dedicated support staff. Mr. Sandoval earned his law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law. Since that time, he has been practicing family law in the Austin area, as well as teaching seminars, classes and other forms of professional development.