Houston, TX asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Texas

Q: Do I have to let my son visit his dad after he was physically harmed?

My son was physically harmed by his dad during a visit. It left bruises and welts from his back down his legs. CPS was called via hospital and a pending DA case is still open. I have photos and documentation of the incident. My son is 7 and blames himself because he loves his dad and said if he learned to be a better kid, his dad wouldn’t have hurt him and that he can be a good and happy kid. For 3 months, his dad hasn’t asked to call, text or visit him. I allow my son to call or text when he wants to though. Otherwise they won’t talk. Randomly his dad asked to have him for 3 days. My son does want to see his dad. Despite what he went through, he still loves him. And his dad justifies the harm by saying his son still loves him so no harm was done. I am not comfortable letting him have long stays anymore and am currently trying to get a modification of current custody order. He will fight using the justification of his son still loving him, but I’m going to try anyway.

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1 Lawyer Answer
John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Frisco, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: Since you have a current custody order, you should 100% follow the terms of that order unless and until a modification is granted. Nothing will derail a good motion to modify faster than not following the existing court order. Not following the order demonstrates to the court that a parent does not respect the authority of the court and places him- or herself above all others. It can and will be effectively used against you.

If your son was harmed seriously enough to justify any departure from the existing court order, you, CPS, or the DA would have filed a motion for protective order immediately. The fact that you and CPS and the DA did not demonstrates to the court that none of you considered the incident to be serious enough to warrant an immediate departure from its existing order.

So, if your current custody order awards the father a period of possession with your son, you need to follow that order unless and until it is modified.

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