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Enforcing a child custody order with a warrant in Texas

A child custody dispute in Texas can take on many forms and, in some cases, can become contentious and difficult with the need for the courts and law enforcement to step in. It can be complicated and traumatic if it is necessary to use state law in enforcing a child custody order, but it is often unavoidable. Those who are in the midst of a disagreement over child custody need to understand the law when it comes to getting a warrant for custody of the child.

When there is a petition filed to enforce a child custody order, the person who has filed the petition can also file for a warrant to receive physical custody if there is the imminent possibility of the child being harmed or taken from the state. The court may find that this is likely and will issue the warrant. The petition for this must be heard on the next day on the judicial calendar after the warrant has been executed except in situations in which this is a practical impossibility. If that is the case, the court will hold the hearing on the first possible day.

The warrant must include a number of components including the facts that predicated the conclusion that there was danger to the child or a possibility of removal from the state. In addition, the warrant must also provide an order for law enforcement to take immediate custody of the child and it must verify the date of the hearing. Finally, the warrant must provide for placing the child safely until any other order or conditions are issued.

When there is a child custody dispute and a warrant has been issued to remove the child, the best interests of the child are the most important factor that must be considered. Parents who are embroiled in a child custody fight need to be aware of how enforcement of the warrant will be handled if it gets to this point. Both parents need to have knowledge of their child custody rights when it comes to warrants. An experienced family law attorney can help parents who are dealing with a child custody dispute.

Source: Texas Family Code, "Chapter 152. Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act -- 152.311. Warrant to Take Physical Custody of Child," accessed on Dec. 29, 2015

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