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By: Susan Durham, Attorney at Law

FIRST read your order!!! If you have lost your order, it is available through the Clerk of the District Court in which your case was heard. In Dallas, you go to the records office of the District Courthouse at 600 Commerce Street, Dallas, Texas 75202. It is in the basement. Have your copy certified by the court. If you do not understand what it says, take it to an attorney to have them explain it to you. They will charge you a minimal fee for this service. As a rule you DO NOT have to call before you exercise your visitation. Just show up.

THINGS TO TAKE WITH YOU:

SECOND maintain a journal of the dates and times when you are actually denied visitation/possession of your child(ren.) Maintaining an accurate journal is necessary before you can enforce your visitation/possession rights in court. The journal must also be kept at the same time as the denials occur. In other words, you should make your journal entries as soon as possible after each actual denial so the event is recorded while still fresh in your mind. AN actual denial is when you physically go to the place where you are supposed to meet or pick up your child(ren.) This does not include when you are told over the telephone that you will be denied before the scheduled date and time.

It is also very helpful to your attorney to use a book sized calendar for your journal because the times are already written in the calendar and it makes it easier to compare the calendar to the court order which outlines when you are to have visitation/possession with your child(ren.)

It is very important to have a witness present at the denial. You should use someone who will be available to testify in court if necessary. Keep that person?s name, address and phone number. It is preferred, if you are a man, that you use another man as your witness----if you are a woman, another woman.

DO NOT BRING YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER TO PICK UP YOUR KIDS!

If things get ugly YOU MUST RETREAT. If you know the child(ren) were at the location, and there is a police station nearby, go and see if a police officer will 'stand by' while you pick up your kids. See if you can pick up the children at a convenient place that is away from the other parent's home, such as an aunt or grandparent's home. If the court finds there has been fighting at the pick-up and drop-offs, it may order you to exchange the child(ren) at a for-pay facility, and that will cost you money.

Your journal/calendar must include the following information in order for it to be of any use to your attorney in enforcing your visitation/possession rights in court:

  • Date of Denial
  • Time of Denial
  • What occurred at the denial (e.g. no one answered the door, you were told to go away, you were told your child(ren) were not home, etc.)
  • Name of any witnesses of the denial

If you have any questions about hot to keep your journal/calendar, please feel free to contact us.

Fathers For Equal Rights is such a great help to people in need!
  -- Joe & Rachel B. - Fort Worth, TX

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